The purpose of this paper is to report on a study that investigated the feasibility of a women-only professional accounting firm in the city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that could help reduce female graduate unemployment in the city. Practically, the study sought to find out if, and under what conditions, a women-only professional accounting firm in Al Ain might be useful in providing employment for women in professional accountancy and facilitating the entry of female graduates into the job market by providing them with professional training. Theoretically, the study sought to add to the literature on positive discrimination to help women’s job prospects.
The study followed a qualitative research approach. It sought to show some specific connections between various professional, cultural, and economic factors by crystallising them through a hypothetical, innovative solution to the problem of local female unemployment, namely, a women-only professional accounting firm in a location of limited employment opportunities. It did so by investigating the views of male and female accounting graduates and other stakeholders.
The main finding is that the model women-only professional accounting firm could be used to overcome family objections to female graduate employment by removing the requirement that women work a long distance away from their families. The study also showed the deep cultural entrenchment of gendered stereotypes of female professionals.
The study could have had a larger sample size with the survey, but it is important to note that this was not the focus of the study. However, the strength of the paper is in the qualitative aspect of canvassing views from various stakeholders.
The study brought to light key opportunities and challenges for policy makers who are seeking to address female graduate unemployment in economically remote locations.
The paper adds to the literature on positive discrimination for female job seekers in an adverse cultural and economic context.
Khalifa, R. (2018), "Enhancing female graduate employment through a women-only professional services firm in an economically remote city", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 36-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-06-2017-0051Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited