Alghanim Industries, the company behind Wendy’s and Costa Coffee franchise operations, has introduced new policies to promote gender diversity across the GCC.
The policies are in line with Alghanim Industries’ gender diversity agenda, which aims to increase the number of working women in the private sector.
George Lambros, Alghanim Industries chief human resources officer, said: “Increasing our maternity leave benefits is just the first step.
“We continue to change and improve our policies to encourage the hiring and retaining of more women. Alghanim Industries is at the forefront of this pivotal issue, and we hope to drive positive change in all markets.”
The new policies offer businesses up to 90 days paid maternity leave and the option to extend unpaid maternity leave for a total of four months.
A guaranteed two-hour nursing break during working hours until child reaches the age of two, along with policies ensuring equal opportunities across all aspects of employment are also being introduced.
In addition to improved maternity benefits, the company has implemented recruitment and retention policies that support women.
Phil Broad, vice president of food and beverage at Alghanim Industries, who oversees Wendy’s Middle East, said: “We are delighted with this shift in policy, which further highlights Alghanim Industries as a forward-thinking company.
“Our approach to gender equality sets us apart in the region and gives us a competitive advantage in our ability to draw and employ women – half of the UAE’s talent pool. We will continue developing Wendy’s Middle East, ensuring that we provide our customers with the quality and value they deserve at the best prices.”
The policies, which are already in effect across all Alghanim Industries departments and businesses in Kuwait, are being introduced across the company’s businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
These include Wendy’s franchising operation, Kirby Building Systems factory in Ras al-Khaimah, sales offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as KIMMCO sales office in Dubai.
Alghanim Industries, which acquired the Wendy’s master franchise in 2015, currently owns and operates 17 stores in the UAE, and plans to open restaurants across the Middle East and North Africa regions.
Originally founded in 1932 by Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim in Kuwait, the company has since grown into a multibillion dollar conglomerate.
It employs more than 14,000 people in 30 businesses, and is present in 40 countries across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia.