Emirati women make up around two-thirds of the UAE’s public sector workforce, yet there are some barriers keeping them from working in the private sector, a Ministry of Labour official said during Labour Day celebrations yesterday.
According to recent statistics from the ministry, about five percent of Emirati women work in the private sector. Noora Al Marzouqi, director of the strategic planning department at the ministry, called on firms to provide greater adaptability for women to help them juggle family life and careers.
“Integrating Emirati women into the private sector is very important and significant for us to help build a knowledge-driven economy to meet Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030,” she said.
Ahlam Al Lamki, director of research and development at the General Women’s Union, said: “Companies in the private sector could attract gifted Emirati women by stressing the importance and contribution of this sector to the country’s economy.”
Integrating Emirati women into the private sector is not as easy as it appears because this is a matter of ideology and the belief that working in the public sector is secure and more lucrative than the private sector, she added. “However, in the long run, this will be unavoidable as Emiratisation [Tawteen] efforts will increase due to the increase in the number of young Emiratis entering the workforce annually.” She urged companies to consider the benefits of being a pioneer in attracting gifted Emirati women. Shaikha M., 27, told Gulf News government jobs were more secure and had shorter working hours.
“Since the beginning of March 2011, I moved from the private sector to the public sector as the salary is much better and the working conditions are much more stable and secure,” said Shaikha. “I know why many men and women  prefer government jobs. It is because of several benefits,” she added. Working hours are a major barrier for not working at the private sector. Salaries are also less than those at the public sector”
Noora Al Marzouqi, Director of the strategic planning department at the labour ministry