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At so­ci­ety’s ser­vice

A public ser­vant work­ing to make gen­der a non is­sue

Lamia Moubayed, head of the In­sti­tut des Fi­nances Basil Fulei­han (IoF), be­lieves that there is de­facto dis­crim­i­na­tion against women in top man­age­ment roles. “I per­son­ally avoided, as much as pos­si­ble, work re­lated so­cial func­tions be­cause oth­er­wise I wouldn’t have been able to man­age my many du­ties. This af­fects your prospects for ad­vance­ment or pro­mo­tion to higher du­ties as you are seen less in cir­cles of power and prob­a­bly miss on some good ‘in­tro­duc­tion’ op­por­tu­ni­ties,” says Moubayed, ex­plain­ing that this is one rea­son why quo­tas are cru­cial to stop top po­si­tions be­ing filled only with men.

Moubayed was se­lected as head of the IoF by the French Min­istry of Fi­nance in 2000, when it was still a pri­vate French– Le­banese ini­tia­tive. She led the IoF’s trans­for­ma­tion from a bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion project into an in­de­pen­dent public agency un­der the tute­lage of the Le­banese Min­istry of Fi­nance. To­day, Moubayed heads a team of 26 at the in­sti­tute, whose main ser­vices are ca­pac­ity devel­op­ment of civil ser­vants, train­ing and doc­u­men­ta­tion ser­vices.

The In­sti­tute of Fi­nance has pre­dom­i­nantly fe­male em­ploy­ees (19 out of the 26), but Moubayed says this was not their aim. “When we talk about fe­male em­ploy­ment it is not at the ex­pense of male em­ploy­ment, there should be di­ver­sity where each per­son brings to the or­ga­ni­za­tion a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. In public af­fairs, di­ver­sity is a sign of health be­cause if you want public ser­vants to be re­spon­si­ble, ef­fi­cient and at­ten­tive to cit­i­zens’ needs, they have to be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their so­ci­ety. In IoF, we have this very nice way of mak­ing the best out of our dif­fer­ence. We work for gen­der to be­come a non is­sue, and here, di­ver­sity is the key,” she says.

Moubayed be­lieves that there are very few bar­ri­ers fac­ing women, in gen­eral, in the public sec­tor. “As far as I am con­cerned, the dis­crim­i­na­tion in pay be­tween gen­ders in the public ser­vice is rather rare, as you are paid ac­cord­ing to a well es­tab­lished scale as per your grade. Also, women in the public sec­tor en­joy a num­ber of benefits set by law that no su­per­vi­sor can deny or ig­nore, in­clud­ing ma­ter­nity leave, con­ve­nient work­ing hours [un­til 2 pm in ad­min­is­tra­tions], pen­sion and so on. They have a legal sys­tem and an in­sti­tu­tional frame­work that guar­an­tee their rights, pro­tect them from abuse and al­low for re­tal­i­a­tion in case of abuse. More­over, they en­joy two most im­por­tant priv­i­leges: job se­cu­rity and non in­ter­rup­tion of their pay,” ex­plains Moubayed.


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