“The key for societal development is for all women to become educated, since they are the ones who will become mothers. Therefore, they are the ones who will mould the minds of future generations."
Samih Darwazeh, Founder of Hikma Pharmaceuticals
The Dare to Dream Big Programme and Female Entrepreneurs Programme
In 2015, Hikma announced a Group-wide strategic imperative to promote women’s empowerment. Part of our efforts to achieve this goal included the establishment of the Dare to Dream Programme – a comprehensive programme that strives to empower women within the company and throughout the broader community.
In many of Hikma’s operating countries, particularly across the MENA region, gender equality lags behind global averages and represents an ongoing barrier to achieving sustainable development. The MENA currently ranks lowest in overall gender gap statistics which aggregates indicators related to economic participation, political empowerment, educational attainment and health.
Given this context, addressing gender inequality has always been a primary issue for Hikma’s leadership, and was emphasized by Hikma’s late founder Mr. Samih Darwazeh as a major catalyst for national development. Since then, our efforts at Hikma have expanded to include a range of programmes to support and encourage women’s growth.
Dare to Dream Big – Educating, Motivating and Empowering Hikma Women
Through Dare to Dream Big, a series of monthly lectures are organized with the aim of motivating and educating women within the company on a variety of capacity building themes. Ongoing since March, 2015, our lecture series invites speakers from a broad spectrum of successful background and provides the opportunity for Hikma women to come together to learn and share ideas about collectively promoting the best interests of the company. The Dare to Dream Big Programme also included the establishment of a formal committee tasked with addressing women-specific issues within the company. The Women’s Committee is comprised of females from across the organizational hierarchy, offering an inclusive platform where issues can be addressed openly. The Committee contributed to the development of several important company policies such as the provision of a nursery allowance for parents and an extended maternity leave option for mothers in Jordan.
Driving the Startup Ecosystem for Women – Hikma’s Female Entrepreneurs Programme
In 2016, Hikma expanded the scope of its support for women outside of the company, establishing a programme to back female entrepreneurs and SMEs in Jordan. Through the Hikma Female Entrepreneurs Programme, quarterly educational support and learning programmes are offered to employees of female-led startups in the country. By empowering local entrepreneurs, we hope to drive sustainable development and encourage job creation. Since the launch of the programme, a total of 10 startups have taken part and benefited from sharing ideas and experiences.
Plans for the Future – The Hikma Fellowship Programme
Hikma is currently developing a programme for our young employees to work part-time within female-led startups and SMEs to help them grow and develop their businesses. The Hikma Fellowship Programme will accept a total of four businesses out of nine finalists that will be provided with unpaid interns from Hikma. Based on the unique needs of each participating startup, our interns will provide support in areas such as Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Legal and Human Resources. The Hikma Fellowship Programme provides unique opportunities for shared value – strengthening the local startup ecosystem while at the same time developing our young employees’ vocational and leadership skills.