Dubai / Emirates Business
On International Women’s Day, healthcare leaders from across the region pledged to take action in closing the workplace gender gap while attending the 3rd MENA MedTech Forum in Dubai. The commitment comes following local survey results which revealed very few women in senior leadership roles within the corporate healthcare environment in MENA, mirroring global numbers reported by the World Economic Forum showing only 6% of CEOs in the healthcare industry are women.
The MedTech event, which attracted more than 400 medical technology professionals, regulators and policy makers was used as a platform to examine barriers and solutions to gender diversity and equality within the MENA healthcare industry. The third edition of the Forum also covered the most pressing topics in MENA healthcare today, including assessing solutions towards sustainable quality healthcare, the global and regional economic outlook and impact on healthcare spending, ethical blindness in business, regional regulatory challenges, cybersecurity in healthcare and the role of the MedTech industry in addressing the area challenges.
Speakers addressing the importance of gender diversity at the Forum included; Dr. Amin Al Amiri, The Assistant Undersecretary of Public Policy and Licensing, Ministry of Health and Prevention, UAE; Dr. Dania Dialdin, Strategic Inclusion Manager MEA, McKinsey & Company UAE; Dr. Basma Al Buhairan, Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Science, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; and Rita Habash, Business Leader Healthcare, 3M.
While delivering ‘the increasing role of women in MENA healthcare’ session, Dr Dania Dialdin referred to McKinsey & Company’s recent Women Matter 2016 report.
“Our research has consistently shown a correlation between the proportion of women on executive committees and corporate performance,” she said.
“This research outlines three game-changers to distinguish best-in-class companies when it comes to gender diversity: one, they have persistently pursued diversity, started to do so earlier and sustained their programs; two, they have strong support from their CEOs who are committed to entrenching gender diversity at all management levels; and three, they have launched holistic change programs to engrain gender diversity throughout the company”.
Hosted by Mecomed, the Middle East and North Africa Medical Devices and Diagnostics Trade Association, the two-day 2017 MENA MedTech Forum is being held at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre, Dubai Healthcare where industry professionals share insights and best practices on local critical issues, including regulatory, educational and market entry strategies needed to integrate medical technology into the complex healthcare systems of the region.
Striving as the voice of international medical technology manufacturers for 21 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Mecomed spearheads initiatives to work closely with healthcare officials to set credible standards for the region and help formulate, evolve and sustain ethical business practices. While the core mission of Mecomed is to ensure patients gain timely access to life-saving technologies in MENA and also helping industry professionals navigate through the multifaceted local market, this year for the first time, the association introduced gender diversity to the MedTech Forum agenda, with the hope to inspire the industry to address the existing gender gap.
His Excellency Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Policy and Licensing of the Ministry of Health and Prevention delivered the opening keynote address for the Forum and highlighted the important role women play in the workplace. “I can see how committed our region’s healthcare industry is to ensuring patients are kept at the forefront through Regulatory systems and Policies and it’s encouraging to see so many industry professionals working together to foster an environment that helps provide prompt access to dependable and life-saving technologies,”
“What’s more pleasing is how many of our experts have come together to support women in leadership and support gender diversity in the workplace which ultimately translates into diverse thinking and greater innovation.”
Mecomed member and Dubai Science Park’s Executive Director, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, who attended the Forum said:
“At Dubai Science Park, we are committed to facilitating a more sustainable and self-sufficient future that maximises the capabilities of our diverse resources and talent. Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and women leaders play a significant role in fostering growth and positive change in our industry. As we continue to work towards a sustainable future, we will ensure that Dubai Science Park fulfills its commitment to addressing the gender gap with the hope to inspire future female leaders,” he said.
Mecomed Chairman Rami Rajab said he hoped the MENA MedTech Forum would make true strides towards improving patient care in the region.
“Promoting ethical business behaviour, working proactively with governments, regional bodies and healthcare professionals to deliver quality solutions for patients sits at the core of what we do at Mecomed.”
“There is a crucial need for healthcare sector to carry on developing innovative solutions to improve health outcomes. The forum aims to help healthcare leaders from across the industry to join forces and have an open dialog on how to cooperate to contain health spending while improving patient outcomes without compromising health status, quality of care, or innovation”.
“On International Women’s Day, the forum also provides a platform to acknowledge the benefits gender diversity in leadership presents, including offering different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights which allows for better problem solving and a more informed approach to strategy building. It also allows us to better serve an increasingly diverse customer base”, he added.
The 2017 MENA MedTech Forum will run from 8 -9 March 2017 and will gather more than 300 key regional healthcare bodies, such as government authorities, policy makers, regulators, providers, patient organizations in addition to MedTech industry professionals and their regional business partners. The event includes 17 presentations, panel discussions and workshops covering key MedTech industry issues and trends, delivered by 45 industry expert speakers from across the region.