The UAE leads the Middle East when it comes to gender equality in the workplace and the ease of finding work for women, according to a new survey.
UAE job site Bayt.com said three in four women that responded to its survey in the emirates believed they got their job offers based on experience and qualifications regardless of gender.
A further eight in 10 UAE respondents said women in the country had reached the same level of workplace equality as those in western countries.
In the wider Middle East and North Africa, 75 per cent of respondents to the survey said there was a mix of men and women in the same workplace, although 74 per cent had a male manager.
The gender mix rose to 84 per cent in the UAE, where 73 per cent of women said they were comfortable working in a mixed gender environment and 54 per cent said they were extremely comfortable.
The remainder were neutral (23 per cent) or uncomfortable (3 per cent).
Seven in 10 UAE respondents said they worked almost equal hours to their male colleagues, while 6 per cent said they worked less hours, 16 per cent said they worked more and 8 per cent didn’t provide an answer.
Across MENA, women cited less opportunity for promotion as their challenge (44 per cent), followed by a stressful working environment (37 per cent) and insufficient training (30 per cent).
Despite this, 68 per cent women in the region said they were treated equally to men in terms of work hours and training and development, while 60 per cent said the same was true for advice and support, 56 per cent for recruitment and 55 per cent for benefits.
Women in the region said having a successful career was their key driver for happiness (49 per cent), ahead of good health (42 per cent), travel (36 per cent), spending time with their families (34 per cent) and making money (29 per cent).
However, 52 per cent believed their future marriage plans would affect their career choices and 54 per cent said their decision to have children had affected their career.
Four in 10 respondents said they received paid maternity leave and 69 per cent said their company gave them at least one month of official maternity leave, 5 per cent said their maternity leave was less than a month, 9 per cent said there was no official policy and 19 per cent didn’t know the policy.
The survey was conducted by YouGov between October 26 and November 26 and had 4,053 female respondents.