About ESAG

The Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group (ESAG) is one of UAE’s most eminent family businesses with 27 companies in its portfolio. With a history dating back to 1960, the Group is partnered by leading brands in various areas of enterprise across wide ranging industry and consumer sectors. Beginning in its early years as an exclusive trading partner for well-known consumer brands such as Grundig and Siemens, ESAG today is a diversified conglomerate with businesses in retail, building and construction, industrial and real estate. The Group’s institutional strengths, value-added products and services hold the key to its successful business relationships with partners and customers.

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Featured article - Why Diversity & Inclusion Are Crucial For Our Sustained Economic Growth by Dr Raja Al Gurg

Featured article - Why Diversity & Inclusion Are Crucial For Our Sustained Economic Growth by Dr Raja Al Gurg

The benefits of workplace diversity and inclusion have been proven in global studies. These include providing alternative perspectives which stimulate creativity and innovation, challenging stereotypes and enabling employee recruitment as well as retention. Diversity allows organisations to optimise talent pools to deliver enhanced performance and profitability for sustained economic growth and development.

The UAE as well as the entire GCC – have long pursued cultural diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. For the past decade, the UAE has also pursued efforts to improve gender diversity in the boardroom. Today, more women than ever sit on boards in the UAE. Research by social enterprise Aurora50 and the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government shows that in 2021 women accounted for 8.9% of the board seats on companies listed on both the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market – a 5.4% rise on the previous year.

The competitive edge

Diverse and inclusive workforces can contribute to building relevance and context and help businesses serve customers better. They can help companies become aware of client cultures and preferences.

With new technologies such as data science, IoT and AI becoming more mainstream, companies need to focus on workforce transformations that will provide the edge in a constantly evolving business landscape. Along with these needed skills from a new generation of employees, organisations also get access to different viewpoints and perspectives.

Businesses have the transformative power to change and contribute to a more open, diverse and inclusive society. We can only accomplish this by starting from within our own companies. At ESAG, we believe in creating a working environment where women and men can perform to their full potential and have equal access to career progression paths that enable their professional development and our own corporate growth. We proactively provide equal employment opportunities and a work environment that responds to employees’ needs.

We were one of the UAE’s first private companies to provide employees with 90-days of fully paid maternity leave. We have a nursing room in our HQ which has positively impacted the daily routines of new mothers while they also qualify for 18-month nursing breaks post-maternity leave. We also have flexible working options for expectant employees and new mothers.

Changing workplaces

Of course, diversity and inclusion is not just about women – it’s about everyone in the workplace. With talent in demand the world over, it’s now in the driving seat in deciding who to work for, from where, and how. It is imperative that businesses build equity by focusing on diversity and inclusion resulting in elevated levels of engagement, a desire to do more and access to opportunities.

Having been a part of building a multifaceted conglomerate over six decades, I believe that diversity in the workplace is an asset for both businesses and their employees. It increases the capacity to foster innovation, creativity and empathy.

The trend towards shorter working weeks as well as remote and hybrid workplaces is also playing into recruitment capabilities. ESAG was one of the first companies in the UAE which shifted to a Saturday/Sunday weekend with work from home on Fridays.

Diversity enablement is a key factor in ESAG2025’s strategy. Our leadership and talent enhancement training programs offer opportunities to employees at all levels to boost their learning. There is a concerted effort from the leadership to encourage our employees to be effective and visible contributors to ESAG’s growth and progress.

The future

More than ever, flexibility and versatility are becoming the key to success for individuals, companies and countries alike. Societal diversity and inclusion have served our country well. I am convinced that UAE can lead the path towards diversity and inclusion because of the nature of our society where over 200 nationalities have lived, worked and progressed in harmony for decades.

The immense power of diversity and inclusion can only be realised when we understand, recognise, accept and value distinct qualities, backgrounds, and experiences. Our recognition of differences make us a strong, beautiful, global community. By acknowledging and accept our diversities, we set higher performance and morale benchmarks within our businesses and the community in which we operate.

 

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