Career Facilitators and Barriers of Arab Women Senior Executives

  •  Ikhlas Abdalla    


This study aims to assess the perceived facilitators and barriers of high profile Arab women executives throughout their careers. A questionnaire was administered to 99 women executives from Kuwait, Tunisia and Sudan. These countries capture some of the diversity of women’s opportunities and challenges in the Arab region. The findings of the three samples were essentially similar and generally support Western findings barring the impact of patriarchy. The main career facilitators were self-efficacy, hard work and social support. The main barriers were lack of culture-fit and exclusion from networks. Compared to Western findings, the present sample assigned more importance to lack of culture-fit and less importance to work/family conflict and lack of mentoring as barriers. The findings were discussed within the Arab sociopolitical context. Given the scarcity of research on the careers of Arab women and paucity of Arab research with regional perspective, the value added of this research is addressing the literature gap.

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