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Dubai's Careem to extend maternity leave, hire more women

Dubai-based private ride-hailing app Careem is to extend maternity leave from 45 days to three months as part of plans to close the gender gap.

By the end of 2017, Careem also aims to hire an increased percentage of female engineers, it said in a statement.

The company said women currently make up 26 percent of Careem’s total workforce and 8 percent of senior leadership roles. 

Careem added that it acknowledges the gender gap that exists within the company and pledges to overcome it. 

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the company announced its Careem Women Empowerment and Engagement Network (CWEEN) programme which will focus on ensuring equal job opportunities, flexibility and transparency for its female talent pool.

It will also contribute to the company’s efforts towards achieving zero gender bias by the end of the year. 

“We looked at ourselves internally and realized that we have some work to do. We fully support gender equality in the workplace and whilst our statistics show that we are on par with the global standards, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to break out of the norm to trigger a change. In order to achieve this, we’re going to extend maternity leave from 45 days to 3 months,” said Abdulla Elyas, co-founder and chief people officer, Careem.

“Through CWEEN and our other outreach programs such as empowering fresh graduates in universities, we want to be that change-maker that remains dedicated to unlocking the tremendous potential of the female talent within the region,” he added.

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