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30 January 2014
Parents play critical role in Emirati women’s career choices, UAE study shows

The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) hosted a seminar on “Parental Influence on Female Vocational Decisions” in the Arabian Gulf as part of its ongoing Gender and Public Policy Programme Seminar Series.
 
A research paper by Dr Emilie Rutledge, Associate Professor of Economics at UAE University in Al Ain, was also presented during the seminar. The paper was co-authored by UAEU Professor Mohamed Madi, and Dr Ingo Forstenlechner from the UAE Cabinet’s Federal Demographic Council.
 
The research paper investigated the post-graduation vocational intentions of females studying at secondary and tertiary level in the UAE. 
 
Due to the nation’s youthful population profile and pronounced reliance on expatriate labour, policymakers are giving considerable attention to local human capital and are actively seeking to increase national female labour market participation, according to MBRSG. 
 
Dr Emile Rutledge said, “Using a survey of 335 Emirati females, we measured the likelihood of seeking formal employment per se, the perceptions of socio-cultural barriers and public sector preferences against three parental career-related behaviour criteria: parental support, engagement and interference.” 
 
Research findings show that parental support reduces socio-cultural barriers while interference amplifies these and also reduces the likelihood of actually seeking employment. Findings also showed that women with fathers who have attended university are more likely to seek employment, and private-sector roles are more attractive to women whose parents are also working in the sector.
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