Media Center

26 Sep 2016
Alghanim Industries

Alghanim Industries Hosts Senior-Level Town Hall on Gender Diversity- CEO Omar Alghanim Stresses Need to Diversify Senior Ranks

Kuwait, 24 September 2016: Fostering a work environment that ensures equal opportunities and supports gender diversity is a top priority of Alghanim Industries, CEO Omar Kutayba Alghanim told senior managers at a company-hosted Town Hall last week.

From a regional standpoint, he noted, the Middle East has four times the gender gap in comparison to North America. A call-to-action is needed, Omar Alghanim stated. 

“This is a regional challenge and we are part of this region,” he said. “It is our responsibility to take a progressive stand and be agents of change.”

Gender diversity also makes good business sense, Omar Alghanim added. 

“Studies consistently show that companies with more women among senior management outperform companies that don’t,” he said. “Within our company, I’ve seen mixed-gender teams offer perspectives that we would have never considered had the room been filled with only men.”

The company can — and must — do better when it comes to recruiting, retaining and promoting women, Omar Alghanim summed: “We need more women in our workplace, and more, specifically, in decision making roles.”

The Town Hall, held at the JW Marriott in downtown Kuwait, was attended by all Kuwait-based managers — more than 300 people in all. The event was organized by the company’s Human Resources department, and included a review of female-friendly initiatives that have been implemented since the beginning of the year. Among the highlights: a new maternity policy, which increases company-paid time off for women from 70 days, as required by Kuwaiti labor laws, to a full three months (90 days). The policy applies to women who work for Kuwait and United Arab Emirates-based businesses. 

The meeting also showcased the results of a nationwide survey, conducted by Alghanim Industries in February (2016), that illuminated many issues associated with women in the Kuwaiti workplace. This survey — the first of its kind in Kuwait – generated results from more than 2,000 female respondents. Town Hall participants also reviewed and discussed feedback from focus groups held earlier this year with female employees across the company’s various businesses and functions. In these focus groups, women provided their candid thoughts, suggestions and critiques directly to senior management. 

 The Town Hall concluded with a Q&A session with Omar Alghanim and the senior management team.  This forum resulted in a series of spirited exchanges among and between top executives, further affirming and reflecting the company’s  straight-talking value chain.

Chief Human Resources Officer George Lambros, commenting on the event, said: “Holding this Town Hall session with our top 300 managers emphasizes Alghanim Industries’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. It also served to highlight issues and challenges involved in achieving our diversity objectives; in addition, we shared ideas and actions that can be implemented in the coming months. All told, this was a very sigifificant – and successful – event.”

Mr. Lambros further noted that attendees were highly engaged throughout the session, which he also found encouraging. “I look forward to making substantial progress in this critical area,” he summed.

In addition to gender diversity, Alghanim Industries is also striving towards greater Kuwaitization, and thusly is also focused on recruiting the best Kuwaiti talent, women as well as men.

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About Alghanim Industries

Alghanim Industries is one of the largest, privately-owned companies in the Gulf region.  Originally founded in 1932 by Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim in Kuwait, the company has since grown into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, employing over 14,000 people in 30 businesses, and present in 40 countries across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia.  

 

Alghanim Industries is a market leader in almost every major sector of its operations.  These sectors include engineering, retail, automotive sales and service, insulation and pre-engineered steel building structures, logistics and warehousing, fast moving consumer goods, food & beverage, oil & gas, office automation, advertising, insurance, consumer credit and travel. This range of business activities has allowed it to develop long-standing relationships with more than 300 global brands, including household names such as AC Delco, American Express, Avis, British Airways, British Petroleum, Cathay Pacific, Costa Coffee, Daewoo, General Motors, Honda, Saint-Gobain, Toshiba, Wendy’s and Whirlpool. Alghanim Industries has also created successful regional businesses such X-cite by Alghanim Electronics, a leading electronics player in the region, and Safat Home, a lifestyle and home furniture concept.

 

 

For more information, please contact:

Reem AlGshat – Corporate Communications at Alghanim Industries,

ralgshat@alghanim.com – 60650205