'Discrimination against men' in UAE workforce, says top executive

Dr Habib Al Mulla says women are being appointed not because of their qualities, but because it gives companies and governments a better image
'Discrimination against men' in UAE workforce, says top executive
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 24 May 2016 10:58 AM

Discrimination against men exists among the UAE’s workforce, according to Habib Al Mulla, Chairman of Baker McKenzie.

"I think there is what I call a discrimination against males in the UAE, said Al Mulla at the Arabian Business Women’s Forum 2016.

“I’ll give an example – in the public sector, if you have two applicants, one male and one female, the choice will always be the female.

Arabian Business Forum on gender diversity as it happened

“When the news broke out that the government plans to appoint a minister for youth, I said it will be female because they will tick two boxes. They want a young generation and a female.”

“And I’ve seen that in several times in nominations. The choice is always a female because it gives a better image. The UAE has a better image because they have more female in the workforce.”

Al Mulla said the discrimination was meant to push women in the workforce at some stage, but it was now working against both men and women.

“Females will be relying on the offers government is offering so it will affect negatively on women too,” he said.

“I’m against these quotas. I’m against trying to force this situation. It has to come naturally as it has in the past few years. Opening doors is something that should happen, but we should not be assigning seats.”

He added that companies and governments were not putting women on boards because of their qualities, but because it gives them a better image.

Women should strive to earn their seats instead, he said.

The Arabian Business Women’s Forum is an annual event that discusses women’s issues in the workforce.

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