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The world’s most ambitious women work in the UAE
A recent survey by Accenture reported that more than 80 percent of working women in the UAE are willing to take on more responsibility and challenges to advance their career, as compared with a global average of just 58 percent. UAE’s working women react to the survey.
June 12, 2012 5:55 by Priyanka Pradhan
“The Manolo Blahnik shoes and Louis Vuitton bags in the malls must be motivating us,” Natalya David says, who has been living and working at a media agency in Dubai for the past five years. “On a more serious note, I think it is because there are so many expats here, who come to the UAE attracted by the zero per cent tax prospect. I came here from my hometown looking for better opportunities and a promising lifestyle for myself, and I am willing to work hard for my lifestyle choices.”
Right, so the UAE attracts a majority of working women seeking a better lifestyle and zero tax. But what’s making them ambitious? Is it something in the water?
Actually, it’s in the demographic. Rati Mehra, an executive in the hospitality industry from Sharjah says, “UAE attracts more women from all over the world because it is perceived to be a safe, comfortable and convenient environment, especially for single working women. The crime rate is negligible and offenses against women are rarely heard of. It’s perfect for the ambitious, single working girl.”
So one theory could be that since UAE offers a cosmopolitan and multicultural environment, there is fierce competition at work and gender equality at the workplace is a promise most companies strive to keep.
Fedaa Rahim from Abu Dhabi says, “I’ve had no issues with gender inequality, even in a perceived male dominated sector such as banking. I think it’s not just numbers but also in the mindset and attitude of the locals in UAE and the expats. Women are every bit as talented and capable as their male counterparts and deserve the same remuneration for their jobs and eligibility for promotions based on merit. I’m happy to say I’ve had no complaints at the workplace so far.”
However, the survey by Accenture also indicates that more women in the UAE are dissatisfied with their jobs than men, at 56 per cent compared with 52 per cent. Globally, however, more men reported being unhappy with their career than women, at 59 per cent compared to 57 per cent.
This dissatisfaction may be one of the most important reasons for the frequent job hopping and bold salary jumps. A source who does not wish to be named says, “I have moved jobs thrice in 18 months but I stand by my decision. After all, why should I be stuck in a less than perfect situation when there’s enough demand for talent? My salary has doubled in this period and I am in a much better place today than when I started. It’s all about knowing what you want and going straight after it!”
On that note, it’s safe to conclude that in the UAE, what women want is far from a frothy romance- what they really want is a handsome paycheck and a fetching job.