Title: Arab women employment in the UAE: exploring opportunities, motivations and challenges
Authors: Karen Miller; Tenia Kyriazi; Cody Morris Paris
Addresses: Middlesex University Dubai Dubai Knowledge Park – Blocks 16, P.O. Box 500697, Dubai, UAE ' Middlesex University Dubai Dubai Knowledge Park – Blocks 16, P.O. Box 500697, Dubai, UAE ' Middlesex University Dubai Dubai Knowledge Park – Blocks 16, P.O. Box 500697, Dubai, UAE; School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH), Bunting Road Campus, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract: This research paper identifies and explores the challenges and barriers that Arab women in the UAE face in their careers. Primary data was collected via an interview process involving 12 Arab women who reside and work in senior decision-making positions in the UAE. Taking into account an overview of the global and UAE-specific challenges faced by women in the workplace and considering the significant efforts of the UAE Government to promote women in leadership, as reported in literature, the analysis revealed that women often navigated their career through a sub-text of deep rooted social and cultural values that manifested themselves as stereotypes both in and out of the workplace and that these stereotypes impacted their career trajectory. Main barriers highlighted include; unfavourable policies, work/family conflicts and lack of support and options for entrepreneurial activity. The recommendations at the end of the paper focus on the need for continued government and institutional support in an effort to break down and change societal perceptions of Arab women who want to pursue a career.
Keywords: women employment; gender; double burden; glass-ceiling; inequality; UAE.
International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2017 Vol.9 No.1, pp.20 - 40
Received: 26 Jul 2016
Accepted: 02 Feb 2017
Published online: 10 Aug 2017 *