The UAE would receive a boost of 12% to its GDP and the Egyptian economy would receive a much-needed uplift of 34% every year, if women participated in the formal workplace to the same extent as men.
Female workplace participation across the GCC stands at 26%, which is much lower than the global average of 52%. While women comprise 51% of the region’s overall population, they account for just 16% of the workforce. So why are we missing out on this talent?
Women’s development cannot be separated from the development of the societies they have built and share with men. In a region where talent remains scarce, our book questions how much longer society and employers can continue to waste 51% of the human resources available to them?
Game Changers: How women in the Arab world are changing the rules and shaping the future, draws on our collective experience in the region to examine the history of women in the workplace and how we can best utilise their talents.
Three key findings from the book:
Women have stronger employability skills
Compared to male colleagues, women report higher levels of empathy, work-preparedness, achievement, accountability and drive towards their jobs. GCC national females are also more comfortable working in mixed gender teams than GCC national men.
Girls outperform boys in education
Girls consistently outperform boys in all subjects. A key reason – particularly for Emirati and Qatari students – is the importance of role-modelling in public school systems. National girls are educated almost exclusively by national women, their male counterparts by expatriate men.
Male students lack role models
The lack of respect afforded to the educators of boys limits the scope of positive role-modelling in male education. This has a commercial impact when it comes to relative productivity, workplace wellbeing, engagement and other measures of performance and positivity.