Saudi women significantly more likely to ‘strive to achieve’ than their male counterparts

Saudi women significantly more likely to ‘strive to achieve’ than their male counterparts

September 2, 2014

Saudi females were significantly more likely to be motivated by ‘striving to achieve’ than their male counterparts (35% cf. 20%), found the latest survey commissioned by Oxford Strategic Consulting.

The survey released by the UK/Dubai-based HR consultancy consisted of nearly 1,000 responses from Saudi nationals living in Saudi Arabia. The survey asked participants what three things motivated them most in life as well as what three things discouraged them the most in life.

Saudi females were also significantly more likely than males to feel discouraged by their own negative feelings (49% cf. 35%) and lack of personal achievement (24% cf. 14%). These results demonstrate that while Saudi females crave achievement, certain factors are disproportionately hampering their ability to succeed in Saudi Arabia. More research needs to be done to identify exactly what factors are contributing to these ‘negative feelings’ and whether this internal factor is common from females across the world.

‘There is a tremendous amount of untapped female talent in Saudi Arabia, with one of the challenges being internalised negative feelings.  Subject to more detailed research, it may be possible to help adjust these feelings using advanced, but simple, interventions such as attribution style training – even in school,’ explained Professor William Scott-Jackson, Chairman of OSC.

The survey also found that while Saudi females were most motivated by ‘striving to achieve’, their male counterparts were significantly more likely to be motivated by religion/beliefs (36% cf. 22%).

OSC is widely recognized as the leading center of expertise on Human Resource (HR) development, including Women’s Employment, in Saudi Arabia and across the GCC. As a result of high profile research projects and consulting engagements, OSC has built a wide range of experience and a library of best-practice approaches to recruiting, retaining, engaging and managing this important part of the workforce.

‘Our organization has been finding innovative female employment solutions for organizations operating across the GCC for years. This survey provides further statistical evidence to our long-held belief that female talent is a key strategic capability for Saudi Arabia, and Saudi females are eager for the challenge,’ said Scott Druck, CEO of OSC.

The recent media interest in MOOCs, massive open online courses, has shed some light on the situation of Saudi females seeking flexible and culturally acceptable working conditions. Unfortunately, many articles categorize Saudi females as ‘disadvantaged learners’—a label that this consultancy believes to be wildly off the mark. With educational achievements far surpassing Saudi males and an ambition to match, female nationals may actually prove to be the Kingdom’s most valuable resource!