CW: How are you boosting diversity within the organisation?
RW: Not only have attitudes to work shifted, the nature of work at DP World has changed too, enabling us to widen and diversify our talent community, strengthening our Emiratisation strategy and diversity profile.
For example, in the past (mainly male) crane operators would be perched high above a container, sitting at an uncomfortable angle, watching through a window at their feet and aiming their machinery to connect and hoist a container.
Nowadays, with the advent of smart technology, much of this work is conducted remotely, in air-conditioned control centres off to one side of the port, with use of TV monitors and screens, precision joy sticks and tracking devices.
From a local talent-sourcing perspective, this presents DP World with a unique opportunity to attract and engage Emirati men and women who have traditionally seen other employers of choice in the UAE.
CW: How do you position DP World as an employer of choice for local talent?
RW: We put every effort into maximising local awareness of the DP World brand at all levels of the education spectrum – through the multiple government and educational establishments – spanning careers fairs, educational visits and in the universities.
These are not standalone programmes but integrated into the recruitment, onboarding and ongoing development of our young Emirati men and women. It’s critical to me that we are both realistic and fair in our expectations when bringing on emerging talent, no matter which country they are in, and especially realistic in terms of the impact and contribution they may have within that role.
In the context of developing our Emiritisation programmes, use of role models is successful, with less emphasis on performance ratings at the early stage of their careers.
CW: What success have you had in developing inspirational role models?
RW: Role models present extremely powerful stories. There is no reason why you couldn’t become CEO of this business.
Our chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, has been with the organisation many years. He is an example of being with the company from the beginning, and there are many other stories around the business of people staying many years as part of their career path.
There is no sense of privilege or restriction within this organisation; if you have the desire and determination, and you are prepared to work hard, then these role models demonstrate that this is the kind of success you could also achieve.