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65% Saudi workingwomen seek financial independence: Survey.

Sixty-five percent of women working in Saudi Arabia say they work because they seek financial independence, according to a survey conducted by YouGov and

The survey, carried out among the workingwomen in the MENA region, was aimed at understanding the perceptions and attitudes of working women related to their role and experience in the workplace.

The second most-cited reason for work is also financial, though related to support of household instead of independence: Ability to financially contribute to the household.

For younger audience (25 years or below), financial independence still comes first, but is followed by good use of education whereas the main intention for the older age group (36-45 years) was to secure their children's future.

According to the survey, 60 percent of women who hold GCC nationalities say they took up work to broaden their perspectives in life. 58 percent of Arab women and 57 percent of Westerners say they were motivated by the fact that they would be financially independent whereas the majority of Asian women sought work to support their household (63 percent).

Higher salaries were the main benefit sought by working women in the Middle East (59 percent).

Meanwhile, "long term career growth" is seen as extremely important, especially by workingwomen in the GCC and the Levant (31 percent). "Retirement benefits," on the other hand, was mostly cited by women over 46 years old, according to the survey.

When asked about the three most important reasons that might influence a job change, the most cited reasons were better salary (65 percent), opportunities for career advancement (40 percent), and higher designation (33 percent).

On the other hand, two in five respondents say they had faced discrimination in a job interview.

Higher percentage of women working in the GCC believe that males are given preferential treatment, with 24 percent respondents in Qatar claiming so, 37 percent in the Kingdom, and 31 percent in the UAE.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of Tunisian workingwomen indicate equality between the sexes to a large extent. More respondents in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria are of the opinion that they are not on par with Western economies.

On work environment, the majority of women (74 percent) claim to be working in a mixed-gender environment. 69 percent of those who work in mixed-gender environments assert that they are comfortable with it.

In Saudi Arabia, 37 percent of working women claim they have a mix of men and women at the workplace but in separate sections.

Twenty-eight percent of workingwomen in the MENA region say that they would prefer a male manager and only 4 percent would prefer a female manager.

Fifty-seven percent of the respondents claim that their decision to have children has affected their career, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted among working women, aged over 18, across the region including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The survey was conducted online with a sample of 2,185 respondents between May 17-30.

Copyright: Arab News 2012 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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