Majid Al Futtaim has announced the launch of a coding programme designed specifically for women – and 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.
Following the launch of the UAE’s National Programme for Coders in July, which aspires to develop talent, expertise and innovation in the field of coding, Majid Al Futtaim will provide a prominent platform for women in tech to make their mark on the industry. Aimed at training 5,000 women over the next five years, the programme will target university students, recent graduates and career women, as well as upskilling MAFers.
Early focus will be to create a dedicated tech community for interactive knowledge sharing in collaboration with the UAE Government, industry and academia, which will include outreach to universities across the emirate to spark interest in tech subjects and encourage women to enter the sector at a greater pace. This programme, in combination with other company-wide initiatives, will ensure Majid Al Futtaim achieves its goal to employ more than 35 per cent women in advanced technologies and digital roles by 2023.
Alain Bejjani, CEO of 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 program for women in the UAE, we are committed to developing and nurturing the untapped potential that exists locally.”
Majid Al Futtaim will roll out several initiatives to encourage women to take up tech subjects, providing opportunities for upskilling, and support them to secure senior positions within business. The Majid Al Futtaim School of Analytics and Technology will run bespoke coding modules and programs for women outside the business’ ecosystem as well as internship opportunities, career guidance and mentorship. In addition, the company will offer freelancing and continue to enhance its flexible work options.