More than half of women in Saudi Arabia believe the perception that they are not equipped with the skills necessary to join the workforce is hindering their success, according to new research from LinkedIn.
While 52 percent of women said they believe this perception is harming their chances of employment, 60 percent of Saudi women and recruiters said that has been significant progress towards achieving the kingdom’s goal of increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent by 2030.
Additionally, 52 percent of recruiters believe that gender equality leads to higher productivity, while 40 percent believe that the benefit of hiring men and women equally advances a creative culture in the office.
However, 37 percent of Saudi women believe employers need to do more to hire them in key positions. Another 38 percent said that the hardest thing about getting a job in the kingdom was finding one that matches their expectations.
According to LinkedIn statistics, more than 63 percent of Saudi women on the platform have indicated that they have completed Bachelor’s degrees, exceeding many developed countries such as the United States, where the figure stands at 57 percent.
Additionally, 17 percent of Saudi women on LinkedIn have completed master’s degrees. The top three fields of study for women in the kingdom were found to be business management and administration, computer science and health science.
Dr. Hayat Sindi, one of the first females to join Saudi Arabia’s consultative assembly, said that “a lot is being done in Saudi Arabia to empower women.”
“Over the coming few years, it is crucial that we continue to take positive actions to increase women’s role in major industries such as science and technology,” she said. “This can be achieved through making careers in these industries more accessible and attractive to women.”
“We also need to continue extending our support to more women professionals to help transform them into leaders in their respective fields through providing the courses and education needed,” she added. “This will help unleash women’s potential faster and would be a win for society.”
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