Home » PwC Middle East’s report – Navigating the path back: Women returners in MENA

PwC Middle East’s report – Navigating the path back: Women returners in MENA

by Madaline Dunn

PwC Middle East has released its report, Navigating the path back: Women returners in MENA, the first in its ‘The case for diversity’ series. 

The report gathered responses from over 1,200 women in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman, including perspectives from leading CEOs in the region.

The survey results revealed that 44 per cent of women in the MENA have taken a career break at some point, largely driven by family and caregiving responsibilities. 

Results showed that two-thirds (68%) of these women have experience beyond entry level. 

Eighty-two per cent of women who have returned to work following career breaks believe they can progress to the top levels of their organisations. 

Forty-nine, however, have had their job applications rejected due to gaps in their resumes.

When rejoining the workforce, women highlighted several challenges, including:

  • Employer stigma, 
  • Lack of flexible working arrangements to manage work along with other responsibilities,
  • The risk of being subject to slower career advancement and
  • Reduced earnings compared to peers due to being “mommy tracked.”

The survey results also suggest that the longer time spent out of work, the more challenging it is to return.

The report recommends alternative work models, such as flexi- or remote working. 

It also suggests introducing models that allow women to work additional hours, which it said could result in GDP gains of up to US$4.3 billion across the nine countries in the study.

Other recommendations include: 

  • Equitable parental leave policies, 
  • Returnship programs, 
  • Action to address unconscious bias by implementing inclusive workplace,
  • Policies and training for teams, leaders, and talent acquisition,
  • Providing effective mentorship and sponsorship programs.

Read the full report here. 

You may also like  | About Us | Careers | Privacy & Policy

 © 2024 ESG Mena