1.1 Thecontext: United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the GCC countries which hasbecome an important player in the region as it’s the only country in Arabregion that consist of seven underdeveloped states and it was converted to constitutionalfederation in 1971 with visionary leadership. UAE area is 83,600 sq.km.
(similar to Scotland area) and shares borders with Saudi Arabia, Oman, andQatar (MOF 2017). In 2016 statistics,Population of UAE reached to 9.2 million in which female population are 2.5million and the increase in GDP annual growth was 3% (WorldBank Data 2017). UAE is considered as one of the most developedcountries in MENA area in term of reducing gender gap index; in which UAE globallyranked as 8th of sub-index of similar job’s wage equality and 1stof sub-index of literacy rate (Goverment.ae2017). After 2015 elections of Federal National Council, 20 new membershas been selected in which 8 are women. In addition, UAE cabinets is comprising8 ministers out of 29 ministers which is considered one of the highest rate in Arabregion.
The UAE has established the gender balance council to ensure genderequality and recently the gender inequality index was stablished in UAEorganizations to ensure that working environment has given women equalopportunities as they are considered key partners with men for the nation’s future(Goverment.ae 2017). Although all the UAEgovernment’s effort, organsiations has still informal practices of genderinequality; which will be highlited in this paper for further imporvment. 2. Literature Review The main purpose of this section is to explore the previous effortconducting theoretical underpinnings and that aim to demonstrate the reasonbehind why women less successful in reaching senior levels in compare to menand whether gender barriers are main drivers behind that failure.
Despite yearsof affirmative action legislation to ensure equal opportunity among women andmen, many countries like USA, Australia and UK has a relatively low number ofwomen working in senior management role (Wood2008). Even though many researchers studied this topic, there is noclear explanation justifies why the phenomenon is ongoing. A discussion will be started with a background on genderdifferences and inequality followed by an insight to understand the genderstereotyping affecting women in workplace and its relation to their careerdevelopment. Finally, a glance will be taken over glass ceiling theory and concludingwith other barriers discussed by researchers. 2.1 Gender difference and Gender inequality Gender differences in workplace is perceived to be the main reasonwhy women are hindered back from reaching senior levels. Many researchersstudied this concept in details; In Maccoby,E.E.
and Jacklin, C.N. (1974), very few sex differences were reported insocial behavior area, temperament and congestion areas. Later researches, suchas the meta-analysis of Hedges, L.V. and Becker,B.
J. (1986), explored variety of characters in sex difference likesocial influence. Also, Thoma, S.J. (1986)showed differences exist in moral development and followed by Franke, G.R etal. (1997) who also suggested that there is gender difference of perception ofethical decision making. One of the early explanation was the genderdifferences view; which propose that women are not fit to be in a senior roleas she is less likely to hold the required abilities, skills and attribute thatthe managerial role needs in the candidate and in which male are more likely tohave (Parker & Fagenson 1994).
Recently, more researchers focused into sexdifferences from different perspectives and they examined those into detailssuch as: leadership personality, management attributes, cognitions andaggression (Wood 2009). Eagly, A.H. and Karau, S.J.
(1991) had studied same topic in their research: meta-analysis on genderand leadership style, and they had concluded that leadership style of men andwomen did have differences in which women has more democratic and participativestyle over men who had showed more autocratic style. Another conclusion inlater study of Eagly, A.H. and Karau, S.J.(1991); showed that women are emerged as social leaders whereas men aremore frequently emerged as task oriented leaders. In addition to that, theyfound that “men’s specialization relative to women in strictly task-orientedbehaviors is one key to their emergence as group leaders” (Eagly & Karau1991, p.705).
Even though many researchers have tried to proof that men suitleadership roles more than women, others have claimed that is not necessarytrue as many factors do contribute to be a successful leader. Other efforts inliterature shows a different view; it claims that significant sex differencesdo not exist and women do own the right leadership skills if otherqualifications are considered such as level in the entity, educationalqualification, and age (Gregory 1990).Such researches highlights that there is a high possibility that women are notthat different from men on term of skills, attitude, attributes and behaviorand that just contradict with other researchers view of women having poorpresentation in senior management. It drives the understanding that althoughthe gender difference is not significant, women are perceived not to besuccessful in senior management as a sort of gender stereotyping (Wood 2009).
From the above literature, thebelow proposition can be derived: -P1: Gender differences has a significant impact on women careerdevelopment in UAE.P2: Gender inequality increases within male dominant originationsin UAE.2.2 Gender stereotyping atworkplaceGender related stereotypes is one of the first stereotypes thatgets developed by human; with considering cultural embeddedness genderstereotyping can turn to be very pernicious as it can clearly limit the fairchoices (Lenton, Bruder & Sedikides 2009). Accordingly, literature hasexamined the subject of gender stereotyping from different perspective. It hasinsight the relationship between stereotyping nature and how does that affectwomen in senior management role. Wilson, F.
M. (1995) has explained that genderstereotyping is when female managers are perceived to be less competent andeffective than male managers and the reason behind that is that male managershas different managerial method and style than the female ones which make menmore proficient to manage. Many studies have demonstrated in details thenegative result of gender stereotyping in workplace and how it does createbarriers to the women career development, such studies as for Schein, V.E.(1975,1994,2001,2006) and Schein, V.
E & Mueller, R. (1992). These barriers are not easy to change as itsindirectly affecting the women being successful in managerial level (Harlan& Weiss 1981).