Women in business: How gender diversity must be core to hiring
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Women in business: How gender diversity must be core to hiring

Women in business: How gender diversity must be core to hiring

It is crucial to have a balanced workforce when it comes to sharing ideas, leadership and creativity for new projects

How important it is to have a balanced workforce?
Despite there being great strides in the industry, there is still a lot of work to be done to support female leaders in the technology field. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by strong capable female role models in our company, but this is not the experience a lot of women have when working in technology. In essence, it all comes down to hiring and objective assessing the talent pool. Gender diversity must become a core component of hiring, not an afterthought. Having a diverse team is always beneficial to any company. It is crucial to have a balanced workforce when it comes to sharing ideas, leadership and creativity for new projects.

How has the UAE empowered women in all fields and created a supportive system?
I am grateful to have found a company and live in a country that works hard to ensure that highly influential female business leaders are at the forefront of its business model to share their valuable contributions. The UAE is a standout country to work in as a woman, especially for traditionally male-dominated careers like technology and corporate services which have seen a 2.5 per cent year-on-year growth of female talent joining the ranks. Even more promising this year in media and communications, 51.95 per cent of new hires were women, in education 56.42 per cent and in health care 45 per cent were women.

Tell us about your personal achievements at OPPO.
Being part of one of the leading technology PR teams in the region is a rewarding achievement in itself. Together we’ve worked on Reno series, unveiling OPPO’s rollable concept to the region as well as showcasing the company’s many innovations at INNO Day. Despite a challenging 2020 due to Covid-19, we had an incredibly successful virtual launch of the Reno4 Series in the region, that saw over 12,000 users tune in to watch the live event.

I’ve also just had the opportunity to travel to Barcelona for MWC 2022, which was incredibly insightful, meeting media and influencers from across the globe and coming together to discuss how we see the future of the industry.

My most profound personal achievements at OPPO were in January 2021 where the team and I were awarded ‘Most precious big idea of the year’ at our annual PR Global Summit and in August 2021 where I was awarded OPPO’s ‘GCC best dedication award’. It was a great honour to be recognised internally for my performance and passion for the brand.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
My biggest piece of advice to women in the industry is to support one another, champion each other’s successes and lean on one another for support. As women, the biggest asset we have in the sector is each other. Making a conscious effort to network with other female leaders, understanding their struggles and triumphs and using their experiences to grow and learn will help you build a thriving career.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
A challenge I have faced as I’m sure many global brands have is ensuring global campaigns have relevant cultural and regional nuance. We are lucky in the UAE to live in a country full of different nationalities and cultures, but this also comes with a responsibility to ensure all of these people are catered for in our campaigns, activations and general communications approach.

What are your future plans? How do you see yourself after five years in OPPO?
My aspiration in five years would be to become the role model for women entering the industry, much like the inspiring women I’ve had as role models. I also hope to be working on even more exciting campaigns with a goal of leaving a lasting impact on the industry as a woman passionate about the industry.

A message you would like to say on the International Women’s Day
To women across the region and globe, let us continue to challenge the status quo, challenge the stereotypes and challenge each other to break the biases for future generations of women to come.

Lucy Aziz is the senior PR and communication manager at OPPO GCC

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