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Vocational Intentions of Female Nationals in the UAE: the Role of Parental Influence on Socio Cultural and Structural Barriers

28 January 2014
Vocational Intentions of Female Nationals in the UAE:  the Role of Parental Influence on Socio Cultural and Structural Barriers
as part of the
Gender and Public Policy Seminar Series 
Dr. Emilie J. Rutledge 
Associate Professor 
College of Business and Economics
United Arab Emirates University
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
5:30 pm - Reception
6:00 pm- Lecture
6:30 pm-Q&A
RSVP: Please confirm attendance at or Tel: +971-4317-55-26
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About the Lecture
Due to the UAE’s youthful population profile and pronounced reliance on expatriate labour, policymakers are actively seeking to increase national female labour market participation. In this seminar, Dr. Rutledge presents a research project which investigates the post-graduation vocational intentions of females studying at secondary and tertiary level in the United Arab Emirates. In distinction to previous research this project investigates the extent to which parental influence impacts on these intentions. Using a survey of 335 Emirati females, it measured (1) likelihood of seeking formal employment per se (2) perceptions of socio-cultural barriers and (3) public sector preferences against three Parental Career-related Behaviour criteria: parental support, engagement and interference. 
The findings of this research suggest that parental support mitigates socio-cultural barriers while interference amplifies these and also reduces the likelihood of actually seeking employment. A lack of parental engagement acts to increase the public sector’s ‘pull’, which - in both the respondents’ view and what they consider to be that of society itself - is the most appropriate sector to work in for socio-cultural and pragmatic economic reasons. Moreover, those respondents whose fathers have tertiary-level education are significantly more likely to seek employment and private sector career-paths are more attractive if a parent works in this sector. Implications of the research findings and proposed policy interventions and recommendations will be presented and discussed.  
About the Speaker
Dr. Emilie J. Rutledge is an Associate Professor of Economics at the United Arab Emirates University. She holds a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Durham, a Master’s in Economics from Birckbeck College, University of London and a Bachelor’s in Economics and Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London where she received First Class Honors.
She is the author of Monetary Union in the Gulf: Prospects for a Single Currency in the Arabian Peninsula and specializes in Arabian Gulf economic diversification strategies at UAEU. In the past few years she has published a range of articles in respected journals covering both regional economic integration and labour market reforms. During this period she has conducted research and provided consultancy services to various regional institutions, including the Dubai Council for Economic Affairs, the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, the Federal Demographic Council and Abu Dhabi’s General Secretariat for the Executive Council.
Dr. Rutledge’s current research interests include Arabian Gulf economic diversification – the strategic goal of transitioning from an oil-dependent to a knowledge-based economy – and ways in which private sector labour force nationalisation can be implemented in a sustainable (i.e. productive and internationally competitive) manner.
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