Zain Group: Diversity and Inclusion in the Middle East
Following a weekend strategy retreat in October 2018, the vice-chair and group CEO of Kuwait-headquartered mobile telecommunications company Zain, was proud of the company's performance over the previous year. Zain Group had much to celebrate, having blazed a trail in advancing women's empowerment and inclusion in the workplace-a double challenge in a technology industry that was also based in a region heavily influenced by traditional gender values. Its strategy included the launch of the Women Empowerment Network initiative (WE Initiative) in November 2017, a strategic master plan aimed at achieving gender equality, empowering women, and advancing women's careers at Zain. However, a great deal of progress remained, and new challenges were emerging. The company had put significant emphasis and resources toward women's empowerment and development, leaving some of the male colleagues feeling overlooked and left out. As well, other groups, such as people with disabilities and younger generations, also had barriers to overcome. How could the company continue its efforts to support women while also being inclusive and considering the needs of all its employees? Lina Daouk-Oyry is affiliated with American University of Beirut. Charlotte Karam is affiliated with American University of Beirut. Axelle Meouchy is affiliated with American University of Beirut.