MENA women seek employment for financial independence: Survey

BUSINESS REPORTER –
MUSCAT, JAN 7 –
A new survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov titled Working Women in the MENA, revealed that financial independence (57 per cent) is a key reason women enter the workforce in the Middle East. 48 per cent of female respondents said that they seek employment to support or financially contribute to the household and 48 per cent do it to broaden perspectives on life.
Many companies in the MENA region recognise that gender equality is a crucial component to creating inclusive workplaces. The majority of survey respondent believe that women and men are treated equally at their workplace across a variety of areas, including recruitment and selection, career progression, training and development.
In line with the overall feeling of workplace equality, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) reported working the same number of hours as male colleagues, while 23 per cent reported working more hours than male colleagues.
While half of women surveyed (50 per cent) believe promotions depend entirely on job performance and gender plays no role, 35 per cent of respondents believe women have lower chance of being promoted.
To understand what men and women value in their decision to take a job, the survey asked women to reflect on challenges they faced in their most recent job.
Fewer opportunities for promotions (49 per cent), stressful and demanding work environment (38 per cent), and insufficient job training and coaching or lack thereof (33 per cent) are reported to be the top three challenges women face in their work environment.
Roba al Assi, Marketing Director, Bayt.com said: “More and more employers are interested in ensuring their workplaces are effectively attracting and retaining all types of talents. In light of this, Bayt.com’s regional survey identifies the employment challenges that today’s working women confront and examines how companies can innovate and alleviate these concerns to improve their workplaces. For example, this survey shows that companies can increase productivity by finding new, innovative ways to support professionals with children to balance between work and life, as half of the respondents stated that their decision to have children has affected their career.”