Banking & finance could serve as a key sector for maximising employment for women in the UAE

Emirati females more likely to work in Banking & Finance than male counterparts

Emirati women are more likely than their male counterparts to consider a position in banking and finance (29% vs 11%) found a major survey on Emiratisation conducted by Oxford Strategic Consulting. The survey also found that Emirati males were more likely than females to work in defence and security (52% vs. 18%), and the complete findings are summarised in Oxford’s Emirati Employment Report. The findings reveal an opportunity for organisations in the banking and finance sector to maximise their national employment processes by focusing on recruiting Emirati women.

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Increasing female employment is a strategic country priority for governments and organisations across the GCC. Yet, the best approach to integrating more national females into the workforce remains unclear. It is clear, though, that maximising female employment in the GCC will require a country-tailored strategy. In this respect, the survey results indicate that the UAE’s banking and finance sector should serve as a focal point for integrating more Emirati females in the workforce.

Learn from what Emirati women have to say. The survey also revealed which organisations Emirati females ranked as employers of choice. For example, 15% of the Emirati females surveyed ranked the Real Estate Bank and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi as the best employers in the UAE. These results suggest that the Real Estate Bank and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi are taking the right steps to attract Emirati females.

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Identify pockets of success and replicate it across the sector and country. More can be done to identify what these employers of choice are doing correctly so that other organisations within the Banking and Finance sector can learn useful techniques for attracting and employing more Emirati women. Moreover, female employment lessons from the banking & finance sector should be shared with other sectors to replicate similar success stories in other segments of the UAE’s economy.

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Governments and organisations in GCC countries like the UAE understand that national females are an underutilised human resource. The best approach for integrating more nationals into the workforce begins with considering the views of Emirati women themselves. The aforementioned report provides initial insights into women’s views on employment and highlights Emirati females’ preference for roles in banking and finance, which suggest that the banking & finance could serve as a key sector for maximising female employment in the UAE, but more work needs to be done to transform motivations and preferences into recruitment and retention of Emirati women.

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