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Oman's labour force: an analysis of gender in management

Linzi J Kemp (American University of Sharjah)
Susan R. Madsen (Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 17 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of affairs in the Sultanate of Oman for the presence (or absence) of women in senior and managerial roles in private companies. The study also investigates where women are located within the organisations (e.g. as board members, chief officers, vice presidents, top management, division or unit heads).


This is a quantitative study that analysed gender in the largest 122 private and publicly listed organisations in Oman. The study is based on data available from the Zawya database that tracks information about companies in the Middle East and North Africa region.


Women are employed in Oman in small numbers when compared with the number of men. Women remain extremely underrepresented in senior roles in Omani organisations currently. Women are found slightly (but not significantly) more in departmental management roles (particularly in human resource management, marketing/communication, public relations, and project management) and in the transport and finance industries.

Research limitations/implications

The Zawya database did not contain complete data on each company analysed. Hence, this is a descriptive study and lacked advanced statistical techniques for comparison and relationship analysis.

Practical implications

This study increases the academic knowledge on international issues in gender and management. The study also provides insights for government leaders, educators, and scholars who work to help prepare women for leadership in this region.


This is one of the first scholarly studies conducted on the presence of women in senior positions and management within Oman. It adds value as it is the first study to compare gender in management across roles, industrial classification, size of company, and ownership.



The research study is support by a Faculty Development Grant awarded to the leading investigator by the American University of Sharjah.


Kemp, L.J. and Madsen, S.R. (2014), "Oman's labour force: an analysis of gender in management", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 33 No. 8, pp. 789-805.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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