The United Arab Emirates has been named as the easiest market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for women to find a job, according to a new survey issued on Monday.
The ‘Working Women in the Middle East and North Africa’ survey, which was carried out by online jobs portal Bayt.com and research company YouGov, stated that more than eight in 10 women who answered the questionnaire felt that women in the UAE had reached the same level of workplace equality as women in Western countries, according to a press statement accompanying its results. (Read the full report here).
It said that more than three quarters of women in the UAE who took part in the survey stated that job offers made to them were based entirely on experience and qualifications, regardless of gender.
The release also stated that women in the UAE were more content with the gender balance of their workplace than in other MENA countries.
Some 84 percent of women surveyed said there was a mix of men and women in their workplace, compared to just 75 percent across the wider region. Moreover, 73 percent said they were comfortable with working in a mixed gender environment, and more than half (54 percent) said they were ‘extremely comfortable’ with this. Only three percent stated they were uncomfortable with mixed workplaces.
The survey was completed by more than 4,000 women in 12 countries across the region.
Across the wider MENA region, the top three workplace challenges cited by women were a lack of opportunity for promotion (mentioned by 44 percent of respondents), a stressful and demanding workplace environment (37 percent) and insufficient job training or coaching (30 percent). Despite this, a majority of women across the region felt women and men were treated equally in the workplace across a variety of areas, including recruitment and selection, working hours, benefits and training and development.
“It is a given that women play a vital role in the workplace today, and we are glad to see that in the MENA region, organisations are doing much more to accommodate women and promote workplace equality,” Rania Nseir, Bayt.com’s director of business development, was quoted as saying in the press release. “The results from this year’s ‘Working Women’ survey indicate that organisations in the region are making excellent strides towards achieving total gender balance, even since last year,” she added.