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Saudi women’s work challenges and barriers to career advancement

Saudi women’s work challenges and barriers to career advancement PurposeFew studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of employed Saudi women through in-depth interviews.Design/methodology/approachThe paper employs a phenomenological qualitative approach drawing on 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Saudi women.FindingsThe findings reveal a significant number of prominent societal and organizational structural and attitudinal barriers to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. Among others, these barriers include a lack of mobility; the salience of gender stereotypes; gender discrimination in the workplace; limited opportunities for growth, development, and career advancement; excessive workload caused by a lack of family-work balance; and gender-based challenges related to dealing with pregnancy.Research limitations/implicationsDespite the contributions of this study, it also has limitations, particularly the convenience sampling approach and the focus on the KSA. The small sample size means that the findings cannot be generalized to all women employed in Saudi Arabia and should be generalized within Saudi Arabia and other Arab societies only with caution.Originality/valueThe paper contributes to the understanding of work challenges and barriers of Saudi women in the workforce. It provides fresh insights to the issues surrounding women in Saudi Arabia and the need to address them in order to provide support for their career advancement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

Saudi women’s work challenges and barriers to career advancement

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References (46)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1362-0436
DOI
10.1108/CDI-11-2016-0200
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeFew studies have explored the work challenges and career barriers faced by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Drawing on Institutional Theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of employed Saudi women through in-depth interviews.Design/methodology/approachThe paper employs a phenomenological qualitative approach drawing on 12 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Saudi women.FindingsThe findings reveal a significant number of prominent societal and organizational structural and attitudinal barriers to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. Among others, these barriers include a lack of mobility; the salience of gender stereotypes; gender discrimination in the workplace; limited opportunities for growth, development, and career advancement; excessive workload caused by a lack of family-work balance; and gender-based challenges related to dealing with pregnancy.Research limitations/implicationsDespite the contributions of this study, it also has limitations, particularly the convenience sampling approach and the focus on the KSA. The small sample size means that the findings cannot be generalized to all women employed in Saudi Arabia and should be generalized within Saudi Arabia and other Arab societies only with caution.Originality/valueThe paper contributes to the understanding of work challenges and barriers of Saudi women in the workforce. It provides fresh insights to the issues surrounding women in Saudi Arabia and the need to address them in order to provide support for their career advancement.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 8, 2017

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