gender imbalance
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Mastercard Pledges to Improve Gender Balance and Diversity in UAE with UAE Gender Balance Council

To improve gender balance and diversity in the UAE, Mastercard has signed an official pledge stating its intentions to make improvements in the region. The payments technology company is one of several private sector companies supporting the initiative, spearheaded by the UAE Gender Balance Council.

The signing ceremony took place in Dubai and was attended by UAE government leaders, as well as private sector business leaders, who agreed to collectively pursue ambitious targets to increase women’s representation in senior and middle management roles before 2025. As an enabler of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality), this initiative is a partnership that will have a lasting impact on the public and private sectors in the UAE.

“An equal world is a more inclusive world, and Mastercard remains wholeheartedly committed to support the journey to gender balance with all our resources, technology, and the power of our network. Over the past decade, we have delivered on this commitment through various initiatives, and are proud of the public-private partnerships that enable us to accelerate this goal. No economy can ever truly reach its full potential for prosperity unless it activates the contributions of all its citizens, and while great progress has been made – it’s imperative that we continue our focus on achieving gender equity,” said Carys Richards, Senior Vice President, Human Resources EEMEA, Mastercard.

Gender equality is a key pillar of Mastercard’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, which it considers central to its success and organisational DNA. Globally, the company has already tied executive compensation to strategic ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) goals and priorities, including gender pay parity – as well as carbon neutrality and financial inclusion.

On a global stage, the organisation is leading the 30% Club and Financial Alliance for Women, and partnering to advance gender equality with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and USAID. Internally, Mastercard has grown an extensive women’s leadership network locally and globally and unified its parental leave. In 2021 Mastercard was listed among DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity and 2021 Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index.

Leading the efforts to attain gender balance in the technology sector and innovation industries, Mastercard also launched its Girls4Tech initiative in 2014. This award-winning program aims to give girls exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects, and therefore encourage young women to pursue studies in these fields, which ultimately builds a strong pipeline of women contributing their skills and perspectives. The program has reached almost two million girls in 45 countries, and in the UAE, a milestone of 2,020 girls in honour of Mastercard’s partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, has been achieved.

In 2020, Mastercard pledged to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs globally by 2025, to the technology, training, digital tools, insights and solutions that will enable them to grow their businesses. This is in support of the company’s goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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