Sharjah-based Westford University College tops the inaugural list of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Women in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – except Iraq.

For the first time in the region, Great Place to Work, the global authority on high trust workplace culture, has compiled a list of 40 of the top businesses in the GCC for  women employees. The list was announced on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

“We strongly believe in the principle of gender parity and we continuously strive to make the workplace conducive for our women employees. It is our responsibility to address their security and comfort levels, implement best practices so that they feel a sense of belonging and  are empowered to give their best to the organization, “says Mr Firoz Thairinil, CEO, Westford Education Group.

All certified organisations were considered for the list, but the 40 were selected by focusing on the Trust Index survey averages rated by female employees, while taking into consideration the female ratio in each organisation along with the fair treatment regardless of gender.

The annual benchmarking study assesses the level of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie within an organisation, and forms part of the world’s largest employee survey.

Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the confidential feedback of their employees while the remaining score is obtained from an audit of management and HR practices.

Mazen Harb, Managing Director, Great Place to Work, Middle East, said, “Employees told us how they felt about 60 different aspects of their workplace culture, including credibility, respect, pride and camaraderie. Among these, measurements of fairness and equity revealed the biggest gaps between womens’ and mens’ workplace experience; Women, more often than men, experience management playing favorites and handing out promotions and work projects unfairly.”

The Best Workplaces for Women in GCC are represented by a diverse number of governmental entities and industries including logistics, technology, finance, media, retail, fashion, FMCG, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing.