UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim launches region’s first private sector coding programme for women
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UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim launches region’s first private sector coding programme for women

UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim launches region’s first private sector coding programme for women

Focus will be on university students, recent graduates starting their careers, young professionals already in digital roles as well as upskilling MAFers

Divsha Bhat

Majid Al Futtaim has announced a coding programme designed specifically for women, the private sector’s first of its kind for the region. The announcement is in line with the government-led initiative, ‘Projects of the 50′, aiming to attract 100 coders every day to the UAE’s workforce and attain the highest percentage of female coders per capita in the world in the next five years.

The company will provide a platform for women in tech to make their mark in the industry. With an aim at training 5,000 women over the next five years, the programme will target university students, new graduates and career women, as well as upskilling MAFers. An early focus will be to create a dedicated tech community for interactive knowledge sharing in collaboration with the UAE government, industry and academia, including outreach to universities across the Emirate to spark interest in tech subjects and encourage women to enter the sector at a greater pace.

In combination with other company-wide initiatives, this programme will ensure that Majid Al Futtaim aims to employ more than 35 per cent of women in advanced technologies and digital roles by 2023.

Commenting on the launch, Alain Bejjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said, “There are numerous invisible barriers that discourage women from pursuing a career in the digital space which has a knock-on effect, further widening the skills and gender gap. Research suggests that women make up only 28 per cent of the global tech sector’s workforce, and with the industry booming, now is the time to change this trajectory. The technology sector has tremendous opportunity for gender parity, and by creating the first corporate-led coding programme for women in the UAE, we are committed to developing and nurturing the untapped potential that exists locally.”

Majid Al Futtaim will roll out various initiatives to encourage women to take up tech subjects, providing upskilling opportunities and supporting them to secure senior positions within the business. The Majid Al Futtaim School of Analytics and Technology will run coding modules and programmes for women outside the business’ ecosystem and internship opportunities, career guidance and mentorship. In addition, the company will offer freelancing and continue to enhance its flexible work options.

Last month, Majid Al Futtaim signed its inaugural $1.5bn (Dhs5.51bn) sustainability-linked loan (SLL). The five-year loan is structured as a revolving credit facility (RCF) and is the largest corporate, non-government-linked SLL in the region and the largest in the MENA real estate sector.

Read: UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim secures $1.5bn sustainability-linked loan

Also read: UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim becomes Middle East distribution partner for Warner Bros. Pictures

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