Women have witnessed a rise in leadership opportunities worldwide, but the UAE has exceptionally supported and acknowledged the importance of female empowerment in the country.
This rings true for Filipina expat Irvi Luthel Go, a senior product manager at dairy product company Arla Foods—and the only Filipino in the company’s MENA Regional team. The mother-of-three said it was challenging to juggle the needs of her children and her duties in the workplace—but the regulations set by the UAE government have made it easier now for women like her to cope.
“We have been blessed to be in a country that provides woman empowerment and equality. The country is committed to gender equality, giving them the right to play bigger roles and be in a government office. They also ensure women’s protection, the right to education, among others. In the UAE, you can see a very balanced socio-economic workforce,” she said.
Go has been given equal opportunities in the UAE to shine as a professional. Prior to her current work, she was the only female in the regional research and development department of consumer goods company Unilever—which she said was a division dominated by men before.
Even with her high stature at work now, she manages to always strike a balance between work and personal life due to the women-friendly regulations set forth by the UAE. “Weekends is more on what I can do with the kids. On normal weekends, Saturdays are always church day, then lunch-out with my family. Fridays are about activities to do with the kids, spending time with my family at the park or the beach when weather permits,” she added.
Meanwhile, Christy Baldonado, Deputy Marketing Manager of Chowking UAE, shared how the policies set by the UAE to make its society pro-women transcend in the workplace.
“As a Filipina working here in the UAE for over a decade, I can confidently say that this country emphasizes the role of women in the corporate sector,” said Baldonado, who has been in the country for 12 years now.
The forward-looking leaders, she said, empower women by way of ensuring that they get equal pay, equal benefits, and equal opportunities.
“It’s also important to note that this is a country where racial or gender discrimination has no place in society,” she added.