Friday 21 June 2024

Mena women seek jobs ‘for financial independence’

DUBAI, January 6, 2019

Financial independence (57 per cent) is a key reason women enter the workforce in the Middle East, according to a new survey conducted by, a leading job site in the Middle East and YouGov, a global online market research company.

Forty-eight 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, said the survey titled “Working Women in the Mena”.

Many companies in the Mena region recognize 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.

The survey also provided valuable information to employers on designing solutions for the common issues facing today’s working females. Most women reported their organization offers official maternity leave of two to three months.

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, said: “More and more employers are interested in ensuring their workplaces are effectively attracting and retaining all types of talents. In light of this,’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.  At, not only do we provide such vital information to empower companies to design HR processes, but we also create various tools that aid employers find their talent needs and streamline the hiring process.”

An analysis of survey data highlights some very concrete truths about the progress of female empowerment within the Mena region. Establishing a successful career emerged as the main source of happiness for most of female respondents (52 per cent), travelling to other countries is also important for them (37 per cent), followed by maintaining good health (36 per cent).

To understand what female professionals value in their decision to take a job, the survey asked respondents to reflect on which job characteristics were important to them in choosing their most recent job. Overall, the majority (58 per cent) of respondents selected a higher salary as the most important benefit, nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) stated that opportunities for long term career growth were also very important to them as were flexible working hours (25 per cent).

Kerry McLaren, head of Omnibus Mena at YouGov said: “We teamed up with to analyze female job satisfaction in the region and found important links between women's job satisfaction and an employer's culture and benefits. While many of our respondents believe women and men are treated equally at their workplace; when women report there is gender inequality at work, the most commonly cited issue is with respect to promotions. This survey will help employers focus on what matters to women in the workplace.” – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Jobs | | Working women | YouGuv |

More Education, HR & Training Stories

calendarCalendar of Events