American University of Beirut

SAWI Support and Accelerate Women's Inclusion

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER

SAWI in Arabic - ساوي - stands for "to equate", and our core aim at SAWI is to transform workplaces to provide equal opportunities in recruitment, retention, and promotion across the Middle East and North Africa. We are an interdisciplinary, multi-country, multi-sector, multi-lingual and multi-generational collaborative network of organizations and individuals committed to accelerating progress towards more inclusive workplaces and workforces.

The growth of SAWI and the impact of our work is predicated on partnership, co-creation, and co-leadership. Working closely with local partners we continue to engage employers, HR practitioners, researchers, students, activists, universities, government entities, civil society organizations, and employee groups to forge pathways toward more dignified and inclusive workplaces and sustainable economies across the region.

Through generous support from the U.S. State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we are currently focused on the following areas:

> Closing the regional data deficit women’s recruitment, retention and promotion
> Strengthening Gender Lens Investing initiatives in the region
> Developing more crises informed policies for recruitment, retention and promotion

> Strengthening Equal Opportunities Policies and legislation across the MENA

As we move forward, central to our work are regional employers. Decision makers in public, private and not-for-profit organizations have a key role to play. Here at SAWI, we call on employers and other interested stakeholders to join the movement. Our commitment is to continue to work together to co-design and collaboratively implement changes in human resource (HR) policies and practices so as to accelerate progress toward more inclusion.​​

In solidarity,

Ian Telfer Professorship in Inclusive Human Resource Systems
Director and Primary Investigator of the SAWI Project
Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa​
Adjunct Professor, American University of Beirut (AUB)


Participatory and action-driven research for social impact​
Kn​​​​owledge transfer and skill-building 
Multi-stakeholder co-creation for women dignified economic inclusion
Multi-country; Multi-sector; Interdisciplinary; Intesectional

Mobilization for dignified economic inclusion

f you see yourself and your organization as a catalyst for change, get in touch to learn more about our programs and campaigns.​​​

 Facts & Figures


Awarded mini-certificates on inclusive Recruitment, Retention,  and Promotion of women to over 500 management level  decision makers from across the region


Introduced inclusive HR policies which impacted employees working across 4 sectors (STEM,  Higher Education,  Health Care, and Banking​) and 8 countries​ (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Moocco, Algeria and Bahrain)  


Collected human resource data on the Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion of women from over 2449 employers across 11 countries of the MENA region. Currently preparing a third wave of data collection on the KIP Index​ ​

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