Cultivating a Culture of Growth and Inclusion at Mozn: Insights from Wafaa Alshareef, People Senior Director
This month, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and Women’s History Month. And Saudi Arabia is celebrating its own progress in this arena, fuelled largely by the young entrepreneurs that are shaping an increasingly lively startup sector.
Wafaa Alshareef is People Senior Director for Mozn, a market leader in enterprise AI technologies. Mozn is proud of its diverse workforce in which 37% of its employees are women. Wafaa attributes this success to the company’s startup status, citing the agility that comes from being new to a market and not encumbered by long-established policy.
“I have always been driven towards startup companies,” she said, “because in a startup environment, I believe individuals are able to make a bigger impact. You can create, develop, and initiate, rather than just be a follower in your field.”
With the right management in place, Wafaa explained, the change management process becomes more attainable. If corporate leadership prioritises growth, it can avoid having what she called “the mentality of followers”.
Many commentators on workplace gender parity have highlighted the role HR must play in the fulfilment of goals. Employee engagement will, experts tell us, come about through HR’s creation of a positive work environment. Wafaa is one of those experts, following her own advice to promote “effective communication, and implement training and development programs that support employee growth”.
“In addition,” she advises, “HR can use data analytics to measure the success of various initiatives. For example, if HR implements a new employee training program, it can track employee performance and productivity before and after implementation to determine impact.”
The results speak for themselves. Wafaa’s efforts at Mozn have led to a 37% female workforce, with women in various roles, from entry level to senior leadership. She has ensured fairness in hiring and promotion.
“At Mozn, we never focus on a certain gender or nationality over another,” she explained. “This has been beneficial in terms of raising percentages across the board. The reason we have a large female ratio in the company is because we focus on talent above everything else, regardless of gender. We truly do not look at anything other than your degree, your experience, your talents, and how well you are able to perform and how well you are able to represent yourself.”
A large part of a diverse corporate culture is the opportunities it offers in professional learning and development. Not only has this been shown around the world to have had positive impact on employee satisfaction and retention, but it has also allowed companies to remain relevant, competitive, and innovative in the digital economy.
“At Mozn, we prioritize learning and development at all levels,” Wafaa said. “We believe everyone should have access to training and development opportunities, regardless of their role. We also encourage a growth mindset among our employees, emphasizing that mistakes and failures are opportunities to learn and grow.”
Mozn’s mission is to bring “the power of AI and accelerate decision-making”. That mission, Wafaa noted, is better delivered by a workforce that operates in “a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things”.
The company has implemented a proprietary learning-management system that allows employees to access training materials at any time, from anywhere. This has helped to create a culture of self-directed learning where employees are encouraged to take ownership of their own development.
“Finally,” Wafaa said, “we measure the success of our learning and development initiatives through metrics such as employee engagement surveys, retention rates, and performance reviews. This allows us to continually evaluate and improve our approach to learning and development, ensuring we are meeting the needs of employees and driving business success.”