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Forbes Middle East: Spearheading Gender Equality

Tariq Chauhan, Group CEO of EFS Facilites Services, reveals how the company has championed female leadership in facilities management.


Bringing women to the forefront in an industry like facilities management was challenging. Being a field-work centric industry with certain hardships and perceptions it was a daunting task to get women on board with full force.

To make it happen, we realized that our leadership had to champion this notion by paving the way for opportunities that act as a launchpad for far-reaching impact on female empowerment.

We realized that no organization could sustain and prosper without having an ecosystem and fundamental value system for inclusivity. So, we built a holistic organization, meeting the prerequisites to enable women to rise above and excel.

Diversity, equality and inclusivity are key business imperatives. Women now make up almost a third of our C-suite leadership team and another 25% of the workforce in the U.A.E.

They spearhead vital business functions and have helped transform the company. We ensure there is a reflection of opportunities and fairness for women, be they engineers, resident technicians, housekeeping staff or executives.

For example, every year EFS gives mothers a chance to go home on a two-month paid holiday to spend time with their children. Our “#ThanksMum Birthday Celebrations” initiative helps blue-collar mothers relive the birthday celebrations of their kids despite being away from home.

The Straight Outta CEO’s Kitchen motivates employee morale and boosts their capabilities of cooking, time management as well as saving time for self. We also offer unbiased opportunities for learning and development along with flexible, part-time hours and a gradual return-to-work scheme for new parents to promote work-life balance.

Empowering women across all levels within the organization, from a supervisory role to C-suite is one of the key drivers of our sustainable and transformative business model.

We continuously aim to provide equal platforms and opportunities for women to enable them to be self-sustainable, enhance their capabilities, reshape social norms and attitudes and support work-life balance.

Saima Ahmad, Head of Human Resources

To witness growth over the years in the number of women in male-dominated industries, like facilities management, real estate and construction makes me proud and honored.

This transformation does not only assert that the perception has finally had a major paradigm shift in the industry norm, but also recognizes that EFS has evolved thanks to strong female role models.

It makes the new era of working women aspire and be driven towards the fact that we are here to make an impact.

Dana Al Hasan, General Manager, Sales and Consultancy

Developing leadership diversity within the business is very critical. EFS has shaped its environment to nurture a diverse workforce to make it productive, innovative, agile and responsive.

EFS has embraced the ideology of empowering women and their perspectives for the best possible business outcomes.

Najwa Makhlouf, General Manager, Integrated Workplace Solutions

All businesses stand to benefit from greater equality for women. Women should be allowed to demonstrate capacity to take on challenging roles in the workplace and society in general.

Women empowerment is now a matter of introducing equal opportunities for women to walk the unpaved way.

Samar Salih, Manager, Command and Support Centre.

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