The world of work will have to challenge itself even more to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic. Organized by the German Development Agency (GIZ) in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean and Siemens, the EconoWin Summit debated the need for a new approach on gender equality in the labour market.
09-17 June 2020. Through a series of 5 online episodes, young women from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe debated with world leading companies on the full economic integration of women in the labor market and women’s aspiration in their future jobs. The EconoWin Summit was organized by the German Development Agency (GIZ), commissioned by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and with the support of the Union for Mediterranean (UfM), Siemens and 40 other partnering companies.
The event was opened by Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Thorsten Schaefer-Guembel, Managing Director of the GIZ. They both highlighted that 80% of jobs emerging by 2030 are not yet invented today.
While companies might have to re-think their strategies, a new generation is emerging. Several statements during the event highlighted that the Generation Z is worried about their future, especially girls and young women. Aseel Nawafleh, a 15 year-old from the Jubilee School in Jordan said: “In our society, it is hard for girls to find activities that help them make decisions about their future!”.
Recently, businesses find themselves looking into the abyss of hardly hit economies. Young women due to enter the job market soon face huge uncertainties. “There will be no economic recovery without a remedy for the real pandemic, and the real pandemic is the absence of gender justice” stated Mohammed Elrazzaz, Project Analyst for Social, Digital and Creative Economy at the Union for the Mediterranean.
Companies self-assured by their advanced Human Resources policies underwent a reality check during the debates: do they provide realistic and promising prospects for young woman? Four groups of female talents from the MENA region competed and presented their solutions and quick and effective pitches on how to better access themselves as a future female talent pool to a group of companies. The Jury included Malika Youssoufine, Human Resources Director of LafargeHolcim Morocco; Natalia Oropeza, Chief Cybersecurity Officer & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of Siemens Group; and Bernd Dunnzlaff, Head of Division of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Natalia Oropeza, Chief Cybersecurity Officer & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Siemens stated: “The greatest asset of the younger generation of women is how they value truth, stand for who they are and don’t back down until they bring about the change they want to see. It’s beautiful, powerful and something we can all learn from”.
About the GIZ and EconoWin:
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise of the German Government and provides international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work. The GIZ supports civil society actors to generate ideas for political, social and economic change.
EconoWin – Economic Integration of Women in the MENA Region – aims to improve the conditions for the economic integration of women in the MENA region. The programme is realizing tangible projects in close cooperation with partnering companies and is part of a special initiative for stabilization and development in North Africa and the Middle East implemented by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). For further information see the BMZ website.
Siemens AG is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries.