Gillian Duncan | June 10, 2012
More women in the UAE are willing to take on responsibility and challenges to get ahead than anywhere else in the world.
Working women in the UAE are more ambitious than anywhere else in the world.
Global management consulting company Accenture conducted a survey of 3,900 business executives in 31 countries, including the Emirates.
It found that 80 per cent of women questioned here are willing to take on more responsibility and challenges to further advance their career, compared to the global average of just 58 per cent.
And employers are helping them by rolling out initiatives to support their progress, including work/life balance, counseling and mentorship programmes.
The news was not all good, though.
More women in the UAE are dissatisfied with their jobs than men, at 56 per cent against 52 per cent.
Globally the situation is reversed, with more men unhappy with their career than women, at 59 per cent compared to 57 per cent.
But only 8 per cent of women who are dissatisfied are looking elsewhere for work, compared to just 6 per cent of men.
Barriers to advancement in UAE women’s careers included a lack of opportunity or a clear career path, which was cited four times as often as family responsibilities. But more than a third of those questioned said they had suffered no impediments.
“Despite current challenges, employees are still striving for success – and energized, engaged employees remain a competitive advantage,” Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer.
“Since the majority of today’s professionals are not job hunting, leading companies must capitalize on this moment in time to equip their people with clearly defined career paths that include innovating training, leadership development and opportunities for advancement,” he added.
Accenture in the Middle East has put its money where its mouth is, by supporting employees, particularly women’s, career progression within the company, hiring women in countries including Saudi Arabia.
“In our Middle East practice, as everywhere in Accenture, meritocracy, equal rewarding, career and job opportunities are applied beyond gender and cultural differences and in this context, we profile global principles and rigor to local culture and regulations,” sais Cinzia Lovascio, Accenture partner for management consulting, talent and organization in the Middle East.