Online Job Survey: Potential opportunities for growth and advancement is #1 element for woman in Middle East Women in the Middle East Workplace
# Source Bayt Blog.
The results of a series of online polls conducted by the Middle East’s number one job site – Bayt.com – into the region’s jobseekers, has shown that the most important element for women in finding a new job is the potential opportunities for growth and advancement. Of the respondents, 36% put this as their primary concern, followed by 31% of respondents stating that an attractive salary was the most important factor considered when seeking employment. A ‘cordial and friendly boss’, and a ‘friendly working team’ were considered as the least important factors, by 3% and 4% of respondents respectively.
The range of recent Women in the Middle East Workplace online polls seek to understand and measure the attitudes of the region’s jobseekers to women in the workplace, by assessing prevailing outlooks on important and contentious elements including gender equality and the competence of different genders to do the same professional work.
While the majority of respondents – a 45% average – felt that women are not at a disadvantage in the workplace, the range varied widely. An overwhelming majority of respondents in Iran, at 76%, felt that women are at a disadvantage in the workplace, which contrasts with only 25% of respondents in Lebanon who felt that women were in an untenable position at work. Over 50% of Saudi Arabia’s and Morocco’s respondents felt that women were at a disadvantage in the workplace, while the other Gulf countries, Egypt, India and Pakistan, largely felt that women were not.
In a separate poll, jobseekers were asked whether they thought women in the workplace were given equal opportunities, compared to their male counterparts. Saudi Arabia and Iran topped the list of respondents that answered no by 56% and 53%, while respondents in India (57%), Egypt (53%) and Jordan (53%) felt that women were treated equally with very little exception.
“Women make up a large proportion of the region’s workforce and are fundamental players in helping to build and shape the region’s economies. The poll results show that attitudes regarding women in employment differ dramatically between countries, which may reflect prevailing social conditions – including the fact that women in some countries are not eligible to work or are forbidden from certain jobs, and that in other countries, women’s employment is a relatively new development in society,” explains Rabea Ataya, Bayt.com. “These results may also underscore a prevailing current of inequality in the workforce in some countries.”
Attitudes towards the competency of men and women to undertake specific job roles were also assessed in the online polls, by asking whether respondents felt there are some positions that women can do better than men. Respondents in Egypt were the least convinced of women’s ability with only 31% citing they could do many jobs better. The majority of respondents in the Gulf countries believed there were many jobs that women could do better with 48% in Saudi Arabia, 46% in Qatar and 45% in Bahrain responding positively on that score. In the UAE, this figure was 43%. At 70%, Iranian respondents had the strongest conviction that women could do many jobs better than men.
The most recent poll carried out as part of the Women in the Workplace theme also asked respondents whether they believe there are some professional roles that men are better at doing than women; or whether gender plays no role in success at work. Bahrain’s respondents at 39% were the most convinced that gender doesn’t directly equate to work success, closely followed by 38% of Qatar’s respondents. This figure was 29% in the UAE, 24% in Kuwait and only 20% in Saudi Arabia.
“This data can be of huge benefit to all HR practitioners and regional and international recruitment websites as it provides quick and valuable insights into how jobseekers in the region are feeling about the hugely important, pertinent topic of women in the workforce – in their country. This data will help HR practitioners to understand and question the role that issues of gender equality and competence should have in the modern business environment, which can in turn promote dialogue and even culture-change, in terms of improving or updating current regulations and practices that relate to both women and men at work,” concludes Ataya.
Data for the five Women in the Workplace polls was collected online between the period of 30th April and 3rd June 2008 with a total of 10,371 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Iran and India. This online poll exercise was conducted ahead of an extensive ‘Women in the Middle East Workplace’ survey undertaken by Bayt.com and YouGovSiraj in June 2008.
Byte is by far the number one job site in Middle East, but it faces competition from startups and the American entrant to the Middle East job market Monstergulf.com.
Competing startups include: Akhtaboot.com from Jordan, Twffaha.com the Arab world woman only recruitment website from Sudan.