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DBWC and UOWD join hands to explore the role of women in the UAE's workforce

Wednesday, 25 March, 2015

The study – set to take place over the next 15 months – has been funded by a 175,000AED grant from the National Research Foundation

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) and Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) have recently announced a new research partnership which will see the organisations join forces to provide much-needed insights into the role of women in the UAE workplace and the factors associated with Emirati women attaining, and succeeding in, leadership positions in the UAE.

Set to take place over the course of the next 15 months, the study is the first of its kind within the region. It will explore the features which come into force to help Emirati women in the workplace, and the challenges and enablers that women may face when climbing the ladder to leadership positions.  Investigating the potential role of education, culture, social support structures and personal and career aspirations, it is the researchers’ hope that the results will lead to a framework which outlines the factors that influence women’s engagement in employment and achievement of leadership roles.

 The project has received funding support amounting to AED 175,000 from the National Research Foundation as part of the University-Industry Research Collaboration Award – a Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research initiative that helps to promote university-industry research collaboration projects which establish the agenda for longer-term partnerships in the UAE.  

“As advocates of women empowerment, we are humbled by the opportunity to participate in an initiative which will shed light on the women of our country and further afield, our region,” said HE Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, President of DBWC. “Our ambition is to provide equal opportunities for women in all aspects of life and through this research we will close the gaps and find answers to many questions.”  

“Educating women is a priority in the UAE, and compared to other Arab nations, the country has made huge progress with respect to the opportunities that are being provided to women for their effective contribution to the economy.  The effective integration of UAE nationals into the workforce is another strategic priority, as outlined in the UAE Vision 2021. It is the aim of this research to contribute to public policy initiatives aimed at career development and leadership development opportunities among Emirati women – which will lead to women having a bigger and more constructive role in the UAE’s economy” explained the project’s Principal Investigator, UOWD’s Dr Payyazhi Jayashree. “It’s an incredibly exciting project to be a part of and one that has enormous potential to make both scholarly and practical contributions”

Nadine Halabi, DBWC’s Manager of Business Development added: “Given the focus and mission of DBWC to promote and support the employment of women in Dubai, there was a natural alignment of interest and passion between us and the research proposed by Dr Payyazhi Jayashree and co-investigator Professor Valerie Lindsay of UOWD to make a significant contribution in this area. The outcomes of this study will directly benefit the work of DBWC – along with employers, policy-makers and educators in the UAE. We’re looking forward to playing a key role in facilitating the research, as well as disseminating and implementing the key research findings.”

Professor Lindsay concluded “This is a wonderful and timely opportunity for a project of this kind, and, hopefully, a catalyst for ongoing work in this important area. To have such a well-supported research environment for the project is, indeed, a privilege, and we are very much looking forward to the outcomes.”