Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has announced a major milestone to strengthen the participation and leadership of women in the field of sustainability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the launch of the EmiratesGBC Women’s Network (EWN).
Launched virtually, EWN will serve as a platform for networking, mentoring and knowledge-sharing for women across the MENA region, who are working in the field of green buildings and sustainable development and are keen to participate in the sector.
It aims to increase engagement and support female sustainability professionals, promoting inclusivity, diversity and women leadership. It will organise networking events and meetings in the first year with planned growth to include a mentorship programme and competitions to upskill women.
His Excellency Ali Al Jassim, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “At EmiratesGBC, we work towards building a strong platform for all to support governments and industry stakeholders in the MENA region with their long-term sustainability goals. EWN will serve as a great opportunity for the women to enhance their skills, network with senior leadership working at various organisations and learn more about sustainability and green buildings in the MENA region.”
EWN will leverage the current strengths of EmiratesGBC, including its diverse network to support and encourage women in the field of green buildings. The platform will celebrate women’s achievements in the built environment across all levels, including senior positions in the public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations in the UAE.
It will also share successes and learning with the wider region for further knowledge expansion. EWN will be chaired by Farah Yassine, Vice Chair & Board member of EmiratesGBC and led by a steering committee to support its overall direction and future plans. The membership is open exclusively to corporate and individual EmiratesGBC members.
Farah Yassine said: “EWN is being launched to accelerate our progress in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Five – achieving gender equality and empowering women – especially in the sustainability sector, which plays a central role in supporting other SDGs such as affordable and clean energy for all. With a number of women already driving sustainable development programmes in the region, the network will support them to excel further through EmiratesGBC’s capacity building initiatives.”
The network will conduct various knowledge-sharing events quarterly, which will also be showcased on EmiratesGBC communication platforms.
Individuals must voluntarily sign up and commit to a minimum level of engagement within the network. The platform also provides two sponsorship packages at AED 20,000 for one year and AED 30,000 for two years with the sponsor to be recognised as an EWN champion, a position on the EWN Steering Committee, opportunity to guide the network’s strategy and deliverables through the steering committee and other promotional benefits.
WSP Middle East, a leading professional services consulting, is the first to sign up in support of the EWN network, showcasing their continued and unwavering commitment towards driving a diverse and inclusive culture within our industry. Commenting on their sponsorship of the network, Dean McGrail, Managing Director – Property & Buildings and Gender Balance and Diversity Leadership champion for WSP in the Middle East, said: “At WSP We believe that diversity breeds exceptional results and that progressing gender parity is pivotal to the success of our business and industry. Networks like the EWN are important in raising awareness and engaging industry leaders to make conscious actions and influence positive change for future generations of females within our industry.”