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Women at the workplace

7 Jul 2020

A survey, Women in the Economy: The Gulf Region Outlook, conducted across the GCC countries and 11 industry sectors with over 280 respondents has shed light on the impact of adopting a positive tone from the top to promote women in the workforce.

One of the important findings from the report reveals that 79% of the participants say their organisational leadership is actively trying to empower and promote women, while 77% of the participants believe women and men are afforded the same benefits and facilities. 

The report also disclosed key factors identified by participants that can support women in the workforce, namely, 60% of respondents want an improved organisational culture supporting women, 57% want increased leadership commitment to women’s workforce engagement and 46% want better recruitment opportunities for women. 

The survey was was spread across the GCC countries and 11 industry sectors with over 280 respondents offering their insights from Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait. 

The survey was conducted by the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency across the Gulf Region’s private sector, and NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA).

The report provides a thorough synopsis of the latest insights on women’s experiences in the workplace as well as how both genders differently interpret workplace support mechanisms and what women are looking for in a supportive and encouraging work environment.

Reem Bin Karam, director, NAMA Women’s Advancement Establishment, said, “Women’s meaningful inclusion in the workplace requires an evidence-based approach in order to achieve concrete results”

Norma Taki, Diversity and Inclusion leader at PwC Middle East, which supported in data parsing, said, “Diversity and inclusion is one of our strategic priorities at PwC Middle East, we are committed to the advancement of this agenda in the communities we operate in.”

“Collaborating with the Pearl Initiative on this report has supported our perspective of the ongoing dialogue on diversity and our partnership is a testament to that. We are confident that more work in this space will drive action for the change we aspire to achieve across the region.”

Yasmine Omari, executive director of Pearl Initiative, said, “When we look at the future, we see diversity and inclusion for women across the board. The aim of this first-of-a-kind report in the region is to boost the community by providing a valuable source of insightful data to emphasise the business case for a diverse and inclusive work environment.”

The survey also revealed that only 45% of women stated that their workplaces help them achieve a work-life balance, 53% of respondents reported that women hold 10% or fewer senior management roles in their organisations and that 73% of all respondents’ direct managers were men. 

The survey also showed that 76% of respondents believed a bias-free company culture will help retain and develop women in the workplace and 62% of the respondents also believed a work-life balance and work flexibility will help retain women in the workforce. 


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