Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation, has praised the contribution of Emirati women to the development and progress of the UAE.
In a speech delivered on her behalf by Dr Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State, at an event organised by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to mark the UAE's eighth annual Emirati Women’s Day, she praised their keenness to actively participate in the public and private sectors.
Sheikha Fatima commended Adnoc's commitment to empowering women and increasing their participation in the oil and gas sector.
She said Adnoc's female employees are an example of the contribution Emirati women are making to the UAE.
Currently, more than 1,000 women work across Adnoc's onshore and offshore sites, including the oil and gas industry’s first all-female leadership team of engineers who work on a site at the Rumaitha field in Abu Dhabi.
“Every year, I witness the steady progress you are making in increasing your percentage at work, advancing professionally, and developing your performance through training, practice and experience,” Sheikha Fatima said.
“This has enhanced your skills and abilities and enabled you to make an effective and distinguished contribution to your country.
“Women now occupy the highest leadership positions in Adnoc and are no longer a numerical percentage of Adnoc's workforce, but strong and influential human capital, instrumental in the company’s progress.”
Sheikha Fatima said the UAE and its leadership will continue supporting women to achieve leadership and excellence.
"The late Sheikh Zayed worked tirelessly to support women, established female empowerment as a pillar of the country,” Wam news agency quoted Sheikha Fatima as saying.
“[He] made women's rights protection a strategic goal, through laws and legislation that support gender equality and promote it as a common practice, while also encouraging women's integration in the labour market and providing a safe and conducive environment to develop their professional capabilities."
Sheikha Fatima also highlighted the first steps taken towards female empowerment, particularly the establishment of the first UAE women's society, the Abu Dhabi Women's Development Association, in 1973, which paved the way for future efforts to educate women and promote gender equality.
Speaking of the great achievements made by Emirati women, Sheikha Fatima said the Emirati woman has become a role model.
She said the number of female members in the Federal National Council rose from 9 to 20 out of 40, accounting for 50 per cent of the total, the world's highest rate of women in parliament.
Women also occupy 27 per cent of the UAE Cabinet seats, with the UAE having nine female ministers, she said.
Women make up 30 per cent of the total workforce in diplomatic service, 64 per cent in education and healthcare sectors, with 23,000 female entrepreneurs managing projects with a total value of more than Dh50 billion.
"I hope that each and every woman works to reach her dreams and achieve excellence to help in supporting their families and communities,” Sheikha Fatima said.
“I would like to express my appreciation to all women who have shown dedication in driving their countries' development and bringing about a brighter future.
“I also salute women who have worked to excel as members of their families or mothers who help raise the world's future generations."
Women at Adnoc
To mark Emirati Women’s Day, Adnoc signed the UN's Women’s Empowerment Principles, which are guidelines for businesses looking to promote gender equity in the workplace.
Twenty per cent of management positions in Adnoc are held by women, including three chief executives, and women are represented on the boards of directors at 16 out of 18 Adnoc Group companies.
In addition, Adnoc's In-Country Value programme has enabled the employment of more than 1,500 Emirati women in the UAE’s private sector since the inception of the programme in 2018.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, said the company will continue to help further the careers of Emirati women in the energy sector.
“Empowering Emirati women has always been a consistent approach laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and today, our wise Leadership are keen to provide opportunities for them to unlock their full potential to enable them to participate fully in the economic and social progress of the nation,” said Dr Al Jaber.
“Adnoc continues to empower women by providing everything necessary to encourage female employees to build successful careers in the energy sector.
“Adnoc has put in place policies and initiatives that encourage women’s participation and promote a balance between work and family life and we have provided all the necessary facilities to meet the needs of female employees in our offices, plants, and onshore and offshore fields.”