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Women jobseekers boost private sector.

Byline: Aftab Kazmi

Al Ain Emirati women have increasingly started looking to the private sector for employment opportunities in the Oasis City and more than 150 of them have landed jobs with non-governmental companies.

The gradual change has been brought about by Al Ain Mustaqbal project, an initiative of Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), which has been facilitating a bigger role for women in the private sector since October 2009.

The project has had a positive impact on jobseekers, the private sector and the local community, the preliminary findings of a study have shown.

Research conducted by the Emirates Foundation Tawteen Programme showed that out of 235 jobseekers' families interviewed, the vast majority (89 per cent) acknowledged that their knowledge of the private sector had improved due to their daughters' experiences.

"A promising 87 per cent of Al Ain families interviewed would consider permitting their family members to work in the private sector taking into account the opportunities available in non-traditional work environments," said the research report.

Direct engagement

Employers' willingness to take on Emirati women is also due to direct engagement with jobseekers, the study says. "Of the ten employers surveyed, all ten agree that the project is improving jobseekers' knowledge and awareness about working in the sector. Seven of them identified jobseekers they would be interested in interviewing or recruiting."

Abdullah Al Darmaki, general manager of the ADTC, said: "We are encouraged by the success of the project and the impact it has on local women and the wider community in Al Ain." He said the council has been helping to bring about a real change in perceptions about working in the private sector.

"[It] will ultimately lead to greater participation in the workplace and contribute to the economic development of the UAE. This project is just the first step," he noted.

Promoting change in local perceptions towards private sector employment is an important goal of the project, said the report.

The latest statistics also show an increase in confidence among jobseekers. Prior to the project, only every third jobseeker felt optimistic about landing the right private sector job. "Al Ain Mustaqbal has improved this so that every second Emirati lady can be confident about her career prospects."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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