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Article

Mohd. Nishat Faisal, Fauzia Jabeen and Marios I. Katsioloudes

In Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, entrepreneurship is not a very popular option among women. The low rate of entrepreneurship as a career choice among females…

Abstract

Purpose

In Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, entrepreneurship is not a very popular option among women. The low rate of entrepreneurship as a career choice among females is attributed to factors that are specific to females in GCC region. The purpose of this paper is to understand these variables and their interrelationships that lead to low rate of adoption of entrepreneurship as a career choice among females in GCC region.

Design/methodology/approach

The research followed a two-stage process; first, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify barriers to female entrepreneurship in GCC region. In the second stage, the identified barriers were modeled using fuzzy interpretive structural modeling technique to construct a hierarchical structure and the impact matrix cross-reference multiplication applied to a classification approach to analyze the control power and dependence among these barriers.

Findings

The research shows that there exists a group of barriers having a high driving power and low dependence requiring maximum attention and of strategic importance, while another group consists of those variables that have high dependence and are the resultant actions.

Practical implications

This research will help policy makers to focus on variables that are most important and requires immediate attention for the development and empowerment of female entrepreneurship in the GCC region. The paper suggests future course of action to provide an impetus to efforts aimed at improving female entrepreneurship in the GCC region.

Originality/value

The policy makers in the GCC region have accorded high priority to entrepreneurship to reduce the dependence of population on government jobs. This research is one of the few studies on female entrepreneurship conducted in GCC region to understand the impediments that limit the adoption of entrepreneurship as a career choice by women.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4604

Keywords

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Article

Laurice Alexandre and Radwan Kharabsheh

Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is the third smallest country in Asia. Like its neighbours’, Bahrain’s economy is developing fast and the

Abstract

Purpose

Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is the third smallest country in Asia. Like its neighbours’, Bahrain’s economy is developing fast and the place of women in the work landscape is evolving. But few papers discuss the situation of women entrepreneurs in this country. The purpose of this paper is to study the evolution of women entrepreneurship in Bahrain, a country in the midst of high transition. The research question is: How do Bahraini women cope with the evolution of their environment? And how far are they keen to develop their own businesses?

Design/methodology/approach

After a literature review, a qualitative research was conducted among 12 women entrepreneurs of 19 to 51 years of age.

Findings

The results show a new kind of female entrepreneurship in the Arab region based on the support of the sociocultural environment, which is in contradiction with the literature. Also, it seems that Bahrain women are more in pull, not push situation to entrepreneurship. However, they need a role model to achieve their goals, which is new to the literature about women entrepreneurship in general and that in the developing countries in particular. As regards the obstacles, some Bahraini women seem to suffer from a lack of experience and knowledge in setting a business online. However, the results show that the companies of these women are mostly small and evolving in the service sector, with a trend in online businesses.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the number of persons interviewed, which does not allow the generalization of the results. Also, generalization to the whole region is not possible because each country of the GCC has its own rules and practices towards women. Also, this study has not investigated the attitude towards the risk and the balance between family and profession.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the few research studies on female entrepreneurship in Bahrain. The findings are in contradiction with the literature on women entrepreneurship in developing countries and more specifically in the GCC. This study offers many research perspectives and could help governmental and non-governmental institutions to empower and support women in their actions.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

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Expert briefing

It launched the annual forum of ‘Top CEOs’, reflecting rapid changes in Riyadh’s policy over the past year. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aims to increase female…

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article

Linzi J Kemp and Susan R. Madsen

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article

Ahmed Al-Asfour, Hayfaa A. Tlaiss, Sami A. Khan and James Rajasekar

Few studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of employed Saudi women through in-depth interviews.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a phenomenological qualitative approach drawing on 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Saudi women.

Findings

The findings reveal a significant number of prominent societal and organizational structural and attitudinal barriers to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. Among others, these barriers include a lack of mobility; the salience of gender stereotypes; gender discrimination in the workplace; limited opportunities for growth, development, and career advancement; excessive workload caused by a lack of family-work balance; and gender-based challenges related to dealing with pregnancy.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the contributions of this study, it also has limitations, particularly the convenience sampling approach and the focus on the KSA. The small sample size means that the findings cannot be generalized to all women employed in Saudi Arabia and should be generalized within Saudi Arabia and other Arab societies only with caution.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of work challenges and barriers of Saudi women in the workforce. It provides fresh insights to the issues surrounding women in Saudi Arabia and the need to address them in order to provide support for their career advancement.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Article

Baker Ahmad Alserhan, Daphne Halkias, Aisha Wood Boulanouar, Mumin Dayan and Omar Ahmad Alserhan

This paper aims to extend Wallström et al.’s (2010) six-nation study on brand use and notions of self-expression to Arab women in the UAE. Additionally, it extends the

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend Wallström et al.’s (2010) six-nation study on brand use and notions of self-expression to Arab women in the UAE. Additionally, it extends the scope of investigation to include an extensive qualitative data corpus to inform and explain the consumption practices of this large, very wealthy and under-researched sector of the global marketplace.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses mixed methodology emphasizing qualitative research as a means of building on the results of Wallström et al.’s (2010) quantitative study.

Findings

Results reveal that Arab women are less committed to the idea that beauty care products are a locus of self-expression, and their purchase choices are based on perceived quality of care products, scene of use and their lack of value in the culture as vehicles of conspicuous consumption cues.

Originality/value

The paper offers valuable insights to researchers and practitioners into the use of beauty care products as a means of self-expression, and emphasizes the value of word-of-mouth communication in enhancing reach in this category. The authors recommend the investigation of relationships between expressing self through brands and variables revealed in this study such as respondents’ relationships to religiosity and health concerns. An extension of this research is also recommended to produce a cross-cultural body of literature on women’s self-expression through brands and how the variable of self-expression can be an important driver of consumer preferences and choices in this population.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Keywords

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Expert briefing

The fallout from conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic also clouds the horizon for many. The survey suggests an increasing divide between young people in the Gulf states, who…

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Article

Shweta Belwal, Rakesh Belwal and Suhaila Ebrahim Al-Hashemi

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take cognisance of the work–life balance (WLB) challenges facing working women in Oman, make a review of the family-friendly policies (FFPs), related provisions in labour laws of various nations, and identify and suggest some FFP-based solutions for attracting women to private sector jobs.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, desk research was used to review the labour laws of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and some pioneering countries known for their workplace policies using the major electronic databases and official websites. An exploratory approach was used to understand the lived experience of participants using 46 in-depth interviews. The data were analysed and the findings were explained and contextualised in terms of the Arab culture, wider social processes and consequences related to WLB.

Findings

The interviews revealed that the majority of women in the private sector are not fully aware of the labour laws and FFPs, and are not satisfied with the existing policies, as they do not provide the right WLB. Women in the private sector demand flexible working hours, privacy at work, reduced work hours and certain other benefits akin to the government sector. Omani Labour Law needs a review of FFPs in line with the best global practices and Oman’s diversification initiatives. The provision, awareness and implementation of FFPs in the workplace are necessary to attract Omani women to private sector jobs.

Research limitations/implications

This research focusses on Oman in particular and GCC countries in general in its coverage of Omani women workers. The outcomes would be important for the specific segment but would have limited potential to generalise.

Practical implications

The study of WLB and FFPs is of interest for both academia and industry globally. In its strategic vision 2040, Oman aims to encourage, support and develop the private sector to drive the national economy. To retain and boost the socio-economic development in the post-oil economy, the success of the private sector will depend on the participation of the Omani workforce. The role of working Omani women will be pivotal, for they form a substantial part of the skilled human resources inventory.

Social implications

Women working in Oman are influenced by labour laws, organisational culture, traditional attitudes and societal values and influences. The voices of women working in the private sector indicate a great need to create awareness of existing policies, ensure their compliance and devise additional workplace policies to enable women to contribute to the labour market.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of studies examining work policies and employment of women in the context of Oman in particular and the GCC Countries in general. Even in the extant literature, the sectoral imbalance between the government and private sector has not been explored from the perspective of WLB and FFPs. This study presents a unique approach and findings in this regard.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article

Mohammed A. Al-Waqfi and Ibrahim Abdalla Al-faki

The labor force participation rates of females have been increasing steadily over the past few decades in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and…

Abstract

Purpose

The labor force participation rates of females have been increasing steadily over the past few decades in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and are expected to continue to increase due to increasing levels of education and social change. While, there is a substantive amount of literature on the issues of gender gap in wages and employment conditions in Western developed economies, the evidence from developing economies – especially in the Middle East – remains very scant. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to bridging this gap by examining gender-based differences in employment conditions for local and expatriate workers in the context of the GCC region.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilize a data set from the 2007 cross-section Dubai Labor Market Survey which covers a stratified random sample of employees in the UAE labor market. In addition to descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations of the data by workers’ gender, nationality, and various characteristics of their employment conditions, two empirical models intended to investigate factors that influence access to employment and wage determination of male and female workers in the UAE labor market were estimated.

Findings

The findings of the study reveal that there are gender-based differences and inequity in employment in the UAE labor market. The authors highlight specific impacts of contextual factors on the employment conditions of women compared to men. The gender gap in the UAE context is compounded by nationality effects; whereby gender-based differences become less apparent in the case of foreign workers compared to UAE nationals.

Originality/value

This paper is one of very few studies that addressed the gender gap in employment conditions in the Arab Middle Eastern or GCC context. The paper uses quantitative data from a large random sample of workers in the UAE.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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