The Pearl Initiative launched the Business Pledge to call upon senior business leaders in the Gulf Region to make a public commitment to adhere to principles of ethical and responsible conduct when carrying out business and interacting with society. The Business Pledge allows business leaders to showcase their best practices while uniting students and business leaders to discuss the four pillars of Pearl Initiative’s Business Pledge programme.

Acknowledgements 

The Pearl Initiative team would like to thank the following organisations and individuals for their valuable input, time, and engagement with our programme:
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Alexandra Aikman, Associate, Pinsent Masons
  • Amity University Dubai and Dr. Geetanjali Chandra
  • Amity University Dubai Students
The Pearl Initiative team would also like to extend a special thanks to PepsiCo as supporters of the programme and initiative.

Event Summary  

Event Location: Pinsent Masons, Dubai, UAE


The Pearl Initiative held a collaborative Business Pledge session with Pinsent Masons and Amity University in Dubai on March 27th, 2019.

The event was held as part of the Pearl Initiative’s student engagement initiative, designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage with business leaders to learn more about the practical aspects pertaining to the implementation of sustainable best practices in business.
This interactive Pledge session, delivered by Ms. Alexandra Aikman (Associate, Pinsent Masons), shed light on the pillar titled ‘A More Inclusive Workplace’.

Ms. Aikman highlighted the initiatives being taken by Pinsent Masons towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace and emphasized that although the legal industry is not traditionally diverse, Pinsent Masons have paved the way in providing fair and equal opportunities. 

Ms. Aikman highlighted Pinsent Masons’ strides towards creating a workplace which accepts all genders, races, religions, nationalities, ethnicities, disabilities, age groups etc. and highlighted a few of their key initiatives, namely; 

-    FREE (Faith, Race, Ethnicity and Equality) 
-    Well-being Week 
-    Family Support Network 
-    Female Futures 

Ms. Aikman addressed two of Pinsent Masons’ global projects in this regard. The first is named ‘Project Sky’ and aims to achieve an improved gender balance in the firm's partnership and senior leadership team by removing barriers to women’s progression to the highest levels within the organisation. The second, ‘Project Sun’, is an initiative that creates racial and ethnic balance within the firm, and identifies barriers to recruitment and career progression. 

Ms. Aikman summed up the session by elaborating on how a diverse workforce can help the growth of a company. A few takeaway points revolved around how diversity increases creativity by facilitating a diverse set of solutions, and boosts morale by making employees feel included which in turn increases productivity. 

After the session, a law student from Amity University said, “The initiatives taken up by Pinsent Masons to face discrimination and diversity issues are unique and interesting. As someone who is soon to graduate, this is something I would look for in a company.”