Women in Qatar may be ambitious and eager to join the workforce upon graduation, but they constantly face invisible barriers of tradition in a male-dominated society.
More Qatari women have university degrees than men, yet female participation in the workforce is only about 35 percent, well below the national percentages in developed countries.
To combat the predominant mindset contributing to the failure of women to partaking of the career of their choice, the Qatar Career Fair (QCF) recently hosted its second lecture, entitled; “The working women in Qatar: professional aspirations and social traditions” at Community College in Qatar (CCQ). The event was well-attended by female university students and career-minded women of Qatar. The panel of speakers featured prominent Qatari career women who shared inspirational insights on how to excel in the workforce, despite cultural and gender-related bias.
Najat Abdulraheem Abdulraheem is a Business Development and Innovation Manager at Ooredoo, and participated as one of the key speakers at the event. She shared her personal experience as a career woman in Qatar and elaborated on how she overcame the obvious challenges of being an Arab woman studying in the West.
The second speaker, Aysha Al Mudehki, Executive Director of Injaz Qatar stressed the importance of learning from experienced individuals, in order to progress. She also spoke to the importance of a support system, sharing that her family, and in particular, her mother, had played a significant role in encouraging her to become the career woman that she is today.
Amongst the speakers was also included Maryah Al Dafaa, Project Director President Office at Qatar Foundation. She told the audience that the word “impossible” does not exist in her vocabulary and how this has been the formula of her successful journey as a career woman. Al Dafaa launched her own business while in university, which has now become one of the leading brands in Doha.
The final speaker, Buthaina Al Ansari, Senior Director Human Resources Department at Ooredoo, advised audiences on the importance of setting proper plans in order to achieve one’s goals. She added that women in this era should count themselves lucky as they now have numerous opportunities that women a decade ago did not have. Al Ansari also stressed on the need to have female leaders in Qatar beyond the corporate workforce.
Also in attendance were Abdulla Al Mansoori, Executive Director of QCF and Dr Ebrahim Al Naeimi, President of CCQ.
In his opening remarks, Al Mansoori said; “QCF is highly pleased with the outcome of today’s lecture as it demonstrates how important such events are in promoting career awareness amongst Qatari men and women. It is encouragement for QCF to continue our efforts along this path and we look forward to organizing more awareness lecturers of this kind as we work towards a knowledge-based economy.”