Cooperative of SEKEM Employees | Our Values | Empowering Women & Gender Strategy | Diversity & Equality
Everyone’s Got Individual Skills. Everyone Deserves a Chance.
As a general principle we follow at the different SEKEM premises, we seek to give all our employees the same chances no matter if they are male or female, disabled or healthy, with no regard for whatever their religion or nationality may be. The main premises are located in Sharkeya and so are most of our employees. SEKEM and its companies comply with hiring procedures that ensure equal opportunities during the recruiting process, but which do not follow a specific policy for local hiring.
… for Women
To support women’s empowerment, we engage in activities in- and outside the company. On the one hand, our social workers support SEKEM female employees in any work-related or personal issues. On the other hand, we strengthen the women’s position in the outer community through microcredit and education programs. Due to traditional rural cultural practices, the majority of women marries early and concentrates on family life. Therefore, the average salary for women differs from the male average. NatureTex offers the opportunity for female employees to continue their work at home, especially during production peaks. This allows married women to contribute to the family income and keep their independence. Furthermore, we offer childcare for women who continue the work at the SEKEM main premises.
For SEKEMs efforts in supporting women, World Bank and UN Women granted SEKEM the “One Business Community, Equal Opportunity Seal”.
…for People with Different Cultural Backgrounds
SEKEM is aware of intercultural and religious differences between employees, especially between Muslim and Christian rituals, and addresses them with awareness raising and dialog, mainly during the weekly morning lectures with Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish or in some of the Monday forums at the head office. In Egypt, the population consists of around 90% Muslims (mostly Sunni), 9% Copts and 1% other Christians. Most of the SEKEM employees are of Islamic belief.
…for the Disabled
More than 30 disabled persons are integrated into the workplaces of the group of SEKEM companies. Most of them first took part in our special education project that takes six years. According to their capabilities and the state of health, the graduate afterwards starts a three-year qualification phase for example at the cattle farm, the nursery, the paint or sanding workshop. These are particularly safe spaces. During the first weeks of work, a teacher accompanies the student in their new environment. The amount of work gradually increases until the student feels confident in the new work. After this period, during which the student learns skills and experiences besides the continual educational process, everyone receives a certificate of qualification.