Saudi women more keen to achieve than men, study finds

Saudi men were considerably more likely to be motivated by religion/beliefs

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A considerably larger proportion of Saudi females are more likely to “strive to achieve” than their male counterparts, a survey found earlier this week, putting the figures at 35 percent and 20 percent of respondents respectively.

The survey, which was commissioned by Oxford Strategic Consulting, and released by the UK/Dubai-based HR consultancy, and polled nearly 1,000 Saudi nationals living in kingdom, asked respondents to list three things that most motivated them and three things that most discouraged them.

The survey indicated that Saudi women were also markedly more prone than men to feel discouraged by their own negative feelings (49% cf. 35%) and lack of personal achievement (24% cf. 14%), the report said.

These results indicate that that while Saudi females are eager to succeed, they’re ability to do so is disproportionately impeded by certain factors in Saudi Arabia, the survey showed.

It stated that further research was required to single out the exact factors that were compounding these “negative feelings” and to determine whether this internal factor was universal to all women.

“There is a tremendous amount of untapped female talent in Saudi Arabia, with one of the challenges being internalized 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,” the report quoted Professor William Scott-Jackson, chairman of OSC, as saying.

And while Saudi women were most motivated by “striving to achieve,” Saudi men were considerably more likely to be motivated by religion/beliefs (36% cf. 22%).

“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,” the report quoted Scott Druck, CEO of OSC, as saying.

The recent media interest in massive open online courses (MOOCs) has highlighted the challenges Saudi females face as they seek flexible and culturally acceptable working conditions.

However, they are unfortunately often categorized as “disadvantaged learners’’ – a label OSC finds to be greatly inaccurate. The consultancy says women may in fact prove Saudi Arabia’s most valuable resource with their educational achievements and ambitions far surpassing those of Saudi males.

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