GCC women find banking and finance jobs the most appealing, while tourism and hospitality jobs are least popular, new research shows. On International Women’s Day today, Oxford Strategic Consulting has compiled data from its collection of country-specific GCC employment surveys published earlier this year.
The research shows banking and finance is the most popular sector among GCC women, with 57 percent of Saudi women, 43 percent of Omani women, 33 percent of Qatari women and 29 percent opting for banking and finance as their industry of choice.
However, the majority of women surveyed said tourism and hospitality would be their least favourite industry to work in, according to the research. Fifteen percent of Qatari females and 29 percent of Emirati females ranked the sector as their least popular, while Saudi women were six times less likely than their male counterparts to consider working in tourism and hospitality.
The research revealed mixed perceptions of the medical industry – with Qatari women five times more likely than men to aspire to a job in the sector, Emirati females three times more likely than men to aspire to a job in the medical industry and Saudi females more than twice as likely. But Omani females were four times less likely than men to consider a career in the sector, the consultancy claimed.
It found that GCC women, overall, expect to face challenges in sourcing employment in 2016. This was particularly the case for Qatari women, the report said, who were “significantly” more pessimistic than men about their job prospects.
Overall, there was much greater awareness of the intricacies of the jobseekers’ market among women than men, with three times as many women as men across the GCC stating that “not knowing how to apply for a job” would be a significant barrier to obtaining employment.
The survey showed that 37 percent of females referred to “job suitability” as a factor in their search for employment, compared to 25 percent of men, while 27 percent of women said they knew “how to approach companies” compared to 15 percent of men.
Saudi females were significantly more likely than males to feel that the pay was too low for available jobs (40 percent versus 24 percent), whereas the most common gripe among Omani women concerned long working hours.