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Mon 7 Jun 2010 01:14 PM

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Mideast women work more for less pay - survey

43% of women feel their chances of moving up the ladder less than male colleagues.

Mideast women work more for less pay - survey
HELD BACK: 42 percent of women said they felt they were paid less than men. (Getty Images)

Female employees in the Middle East work the same hours as their male counterparts, but feel they are paid less and have fewer opportunities for promotion, according to the results of a survey released on Monday.

The Women in the Middle East Workplace survey, carried out by the Bayt.com jobs website and research specialists YouGovSiraj, found that 90 percent of women surveyed said they work the same, or more hours, as their male colleagues.

While 51 percent of the women felt that appreciation in the workplace was based on merit, 42 percent said they felt they were paid less than men. This figure rose to 54 percent for Western women and 53 percent among GCC women.

In terms of promotion, 43 percent of women felt their chances of moving up the corporate ladder were less than those of their male counterparts.

“These poll results show that women throughout the region are still subject to a certain degree of discrimination in the workplace, particularly when it comes to compensation and opportunities for promotion,” said Rabea Ataya, chief executive officer at Bayt.com.

The survey also found that women were unhappy with the level of maternity leave offered in the region. In terms of motivators, the biggest reasons women would change jobs is for a higher salary (77 percent), better career advancement opportunities (55 percent) and gaining senior positions (30 percent).

The survey was conducted online between April 26 and May 23 this year, with a total of 2086 respondents in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.

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John Thomas 10 years ago

Sad to read this report, we are a US Company with offices in Dubai and all of our ladies are paid just as much or higher than their male counterparts. In addition their salaries (all of our employees regarding of position) are at par with the salaries we pay our people back home in the States, no exceptions regardless of Nationality, religion etc... As to advancement; if the performance is there and its merits stand, their chance of promotion is just as high if not higher than their male counterparts. In actuality we see a faster promotion rate with our female staff than with our male staff and we ARE very proud of that! Things have to change in the GCC and provide these ladies with the same exact opportunities, once that happens, trust me, these ladies will excell - we are living proof!

Blackberry 10 years ago

John Thomas: The fact is that women in the US get paid less than men for the same jobs. And I HIGHLY doubt that *all* employees get paid the same level as you would pay people back home (is the office boy in your company making something similar to minimum wage in the US? doubtable!) And here's my question, why is it a good thing that a woman's chances of promotion are higher than that of a man? What is the point of discriminating against men to prove a point? Im interested in this skewed logic that justifies discrimination to counter discrimination.

John Thomas 10 years ago

Looks like you see skewed logic in many things lately Mr. Berry - Yes, wages are exactly at par with what we pay back home and we are proud to do so, we have wonderful people working for us here in Dubai (90% women) and being that they see their work being properly rewarded they do an amazing job - simple math, you get rewarded and appreciated at your job, you do the best you can... As to the "office boy" comment - we don't have them, the simple term itself is derogatory in my "skewed view" - you want coffee? You go get it - nothing wrong with your hands... Client comes in, whoever is available serves them refreshments, - myself included - I can invite you at anytime to our offices, if that would make you happy.... And yes, we are very proud of seeing ladies thriving in our Company, we have fantastic male staff, however these ladies have unbelievable potential and we give them the freedom and leeway to demonstrate it - simple as that, no discrimination. Note however that if 2 employees of mine have the same job and the lady far outweighs at every level her male counterpart, she will get the promotion, regardless of who the male may be or where he may be from (Americans included) no matter where we are - US or Dubai! If you see this as discriminating, well too bad, this is how we operate, and our staff in both countries are VERY happy to work for us, in my "skewedview" that means we are doing something right.... Guess you got tired of chasing the Canadians, so you found yourself another mark? :) I welcome the challenge...

Blackberry 10 years ago

Haha, you totally basterdized what i said and claimed it to be my words. No where in my comment do i say that women should not get promoted or allowed to thrive; what i actually said was that if two people (a male and a female) were equal in every thing, then why would you choose to promote the female over the male? Particularly if 90% of the company is already female? You are talking about promoting a female who is better than the male (and promoting her would be the only logical thing, regardless of which country you are working in). As for the office boy comment, I think its a matter of division of labour. How many minutes per day are lost by people going to get themselves coffee or tea? Or having to send documents from one office to the other? These minutes add up, so while you may think of it as deragotry, its actually very cost effective (ps: office boys do more than just make coffee and tea) A quick note, I see you are so proud of your work to the point that it seems that you are hiding something; I do wonder what it is!

John Thomas 10 years ago

Mr. Berry, I am not going to bite as easy as your Canadian compatriots, so you can stop baiting me :). My offer stands, if you would like to visit our offices, the doors are open and then you can publish what you think we have to hide.

Raaja 10 years ago

my dear american, has berry said, you are hiding something, nothing strange. why you guys let Hillary to run for the president, what happened to Palin, etc., etc., etc., dear, you will find more value, respect and importance to female than in your world, you can see that, since you are in this part of the world. have some evidence to prove that you treat female same as male. gimme a break man.....

John Thomas 10 years ago

Invitation extends to you too.... I cannot generalize about all Americans and I will not get into that, I am talking about our Company and how we operate, plain and simple.

Blackberry 10 years ago

There is nothing to bite, and nothing to swallow. You try to insinuate that Americans pay fair wages to both men and women, that alone is factually false and you are portraying a lie as if it is the truth. One of the goals of feminism is for women to get the same pay as men for doing the same job, statistics continue to show that women earn as much as 30% LESS than their male compatriots in the US itself, so on what basis do you claim that your company is following the American way of paying both sexes equally? Let me get one thing straight here: I work in HR, and I do not discriminate in pay when it comes to male or female, Indian or Arab or Western. I look at productivity and experience when it comes to making compensation decisions, but i do not come on here and pretend that my country of citizenship or culture treats both sexes equally when it does not. That is something you should keep in mind before you bait yourself on AB.

John Thomas 10 years ago

Again, and if necessary I can say it to you people in different languages - I am not generalizing!! trust me, I am well aware of the problems in my country, don't need you to point them out! I am talking about MY company and how we operate, I will not engage in fruitless discussion with you Sir. This is how we work and I stand by it, you may like it or not, makes no difference to me...

Blackberry 10 years ago

"Things have to change in the GCC and provide these ladies with the same exact opportunities, once that happens, trust me, these ladies will excell - we are living proof!" If thats not a generalization about the GCC and comparing your company (which, as you had to mention, is a US company) then i dont know what is. Dont make sweeping remarks about the need for change in the GCC and then say you are not generalizing.