As positions in UAE. 1.1 Other gender barriers

As Gregory (1990, p. 262), has described women stereotyping: “is a
perception by males, a perception which does not reflect reality”. Real examples
of stereotyping when you hear the assumption that women are more likely to
leave their job than men and when men are more valued ascribed status. Also,
other assumption about: women with hijab are close minded and can’t be in
senior level, and women attempt to have more sick leaves than men and that
ladies uses career as social services not as real job. All these kinds of
direct and indirect stereotyping barriers will affect women careers in term of
being selected in jobs, recruited, promoted and evaluating their performance
appraisal. The below proposition created based on the above literature: –

P3: Gender stereotyping attitudes affect women significantly from
reaching high positions in UAE.

1.1  Other gender barriers


Many factors where identified that limit women
from reaching high postion such as less acsses to qualified eductions, stereotyping
attitude as prevoisly mentioned, sex segragration in occupations and many other
factors  (Sabharwal,
2013). These barriers that limit women chances to reach to leadership can be
classified to the socio-psychological, systematic barrier and human capital
role (Choi & Park 2014).  According
to socio-psychological model, the lack of female representation into managerial
roles is due to gender roles and gender stereotype attitude followed form the society
(Choi & Park 2014).  While the
systematic model suggests that barriers imbedded in organizational system which
create issues for women reaching top managerial positions such as networking
and organizational support obstacles (Choi & Park 2014; Hoobler, Wayne&
Lemmon 2009). The last model, is
the human capital where women are not considered at the same standard comparing
to men in fields of education, work experience and career related competencies
(Choi & Park 2014).

After reviewing many efforts to study women leadership the summary
of barriers that affect UAE as part of Arab region is; The Masculine culture,
social traditions and the implementation of religious belief (Ensour , Al Maaitah, & Kharahsheh
2017). Culture in UAE are still has
destrictive tradtional role that limit women from being outgoing in top position
and put rules that limit her career choices and progression (Abdalla
1996).  Even
many women themselves believe that women must make their family as priority,
even when she reaches higher positions in workplace (Jamali, Sidani & Safieddine 2005). The masculine affect in UAE and other Arab countries
comes from the perspective of Arab culture privileging males and giving them
power over female. That’s the reason
where female managers are not welcomed in these top positions which meant to be
masculine positons. Due to globalizations, many changes entered Arab society,
but still some ideas are considered as norms in the society and remains
unlikely to be much changed such as the respect expected from female to all men
even in workplace (Yaseen 2010). 
Moreover, many organizations have the concern
of women being in managerial position as a highly risk employees because
of their family responsibility and high rate of taking maternity leaves (Jamali,
Sidani & Safieddine 2005). Further, female is under high stress of
balancing family life and work tasks (Bonawitz and Andel, 2009). It’s important
to point that in UAE, even most of women have help of their family, daycares or
home helpers; they are still the ones who mainly responsible of all details related
to their children and family commitment as part of common culture and that
limit their chances in top management positions.

The barriers derived from practices beliefs are not necessary
to be the actual religion but it’s all the interpretation of people and how they
are understanding and applying it on their life.  Segregation of female and male in public,
prayer and government services is part of the religion in UAE and cultural respect as well. 
Such policies are informal, but the impact was obvious in women entering
some jobs with majority of men, or getting promoted among board of male
directors (Omair 2008). Some scholars argue that hijab and niqab is also a hindering
factor for women especially in being recruited in private sector (Peebles el
al. 2007). Many of these discriminations has been controlled by UAE government
in term of issuing legislation to give the women their
complete right, but we can say that it has indirect effect on their career
progression plan.

Many other barriers also studied by researchers like:
administration lack of support and factors related to organizations culture (Bonawitz and Andel, 2009). 
There are number of women affected by gender equality level within
organizational culture which has masculine culture,
and trails the structural arrangement that get women isolated form development
assignment and informal and formal networking which male managers are accomplishing
to reach to high positions (Ensour , Al Maaitah,
& Kharahsheh 2017). In addition, researchers claimed that organsaiations establish
equal gender policy in term of  promotion
policies,  career development and
enhamcement can limit the gender bias (Omair 2010). In colculauion, gender equality
is an important element for organsialtional culture that will equal the
opprtunities for both genders and give women their right to work hard on their
promotion and to get high positions. Organsaition and government should work
harder to ensure that gender discrimination and stereotyping will not affect
their economy as whole. from all above barriers the below prepostion is formed:-

P4: Other gender barriers such as
cultural and religius belief is signifcantly impacting the career devlopment of
female in UAE.

2.    Theoretical framework

Glass Ceiling Theory

Both gender inequality and stereotyping are directly linked to the
theory of glass ceiling. The term “glass ceiling” was firstly introduced in
1980s in the wall Street journal followed by Ann Morrison et al. study (1980).  The term of glass ceiling is
“transparent barrier that keeps women from rising above a certain level in
corporations” (Morrison, et al.  1987, P 13). The literture which study female
glass ceiling as barrier is very extinsive, as this topic is a concern that
deserved attention globally. The negative meaing of glass ceiling represent the
current situation that eligible and talented women are facing in the workforce,
where its blocking their promotion and reducing their chances of handling
higher responsibilites in workplace and being selected for decsion making
roles(Schein, 2006; Acker 2009; Hoobler, Wayne&
Lemmon 2009; Sabharwal 2013;  Kiaye and Singh 2013; Saleem, Rafiq &
Yusaf 2017).  In addtion, hindring women
from reaching getting ranking postion will let them  behind as a potional cnadidate for career
devlopment (Acker, 2009). 

3.2. Social-role

Theoretical frame work will support the glass ceiling term with
person-centered theory in which attributes women representation in managerial
level to their behavioral differences and related to social issues (Rigger and
Galligan, 1980 cited in Kiaye and Singh, 2013). Many Arab countries has the
issue of cultural barrier in networking development and getting involved in in
male majority management.  From organization
perspective, the opportunities should be encouraged for all competent employees
irrespective of the gender; to reach to higher position which is contrary with
person centered theory (Kiaye and Singh, 2013). 
The main argument of glass ceiling theory in the Arab context revolves
around on the social role.  theory and
argued that social role perception of female in middle East and most developed
countries is creating challenge for women in retaining career development. Regarding
leadership role that get influenced by cultural affects, the argument was that women
social role perception in a masculine society is becoming a challenge for women
to climb the career ladder and even retain it, because of women multi-social
roles, they are perceived and stereotyped to fail in senior positions (Blunt
and Jones, 1997; Dorfman et al., 2012).

            From this
perspective; the cause behind the glass ceiling for women reaching managerial
positons created from role incongruity which is producing prejudices that
limits women effectiveness to be promoted and reach top management positons
(Eagly and Schmidt, 2001).  In Arab
culture in general, women are expected to take the family care taker role which
is incongruent leadership style and once they follow their gender expected
role, meeting the leadership requirements will be ineffective (Eagly and Schmidt,
2001).  That leads women who are seeking
authority and instance dominance are perceived by the society in negative
way.  In addition, occupying senior
levels is perceived to require firm characteristic, women nature being emotional,
submissive and supportive nature is not fit for the senior role as per the
society. Therefore, in gendered leadership literature, social role theory can
explain many problems that women face and the social role perception is one of
the main obstacles that women faces to reach to top management position women (Eagly
and Schmidt, 2001).  To summaries the
above, social role theory is one of the main reasons behind glass ceiling term
and it became one of the main research topic that scholars are studying
recently to help organizations find out solutions to enable women reaching senior
management level.


3.    Research Methodology

The purpose of this section is to present the research method that
is used after analyzing the methodologies used in literatures. This paper will
use case study as main qualitative research instruments with support of semi-structured
interviews and two focus groups sessions. It will also include one detailed
pilot study design and procedure.  Qualitative
research methodology is considered by many researchers to study social
phenomena within the sample of participant natural setting as it has many
different approaches and instruments (Gay and Airasian, 2003). As described by
Corbin and Strauss (2008:12); “qualitative research allows researchers to get
at the inner experience of participants, to determine how meanings are formed
through and in culture, and to discover rather than test variables”. This study
will explore the barriers that women faces in UAE to reach to the senior
levels. Another reason of choosing qualitative over quantitative is that
qualitative allows depth which is needed to answer the research questions and
to ensure that level of interaction is achieved with the participants
(Silverman, 2005).

In this paper, a phenomenological approach will be used; which has
a privilege of giving the researcher the real experience of women in UAE and
how they are living the experience and it allow them to reflect it their
thoughts and meaning (Patton, 2002). It also allows the researchers to analyze
the women experience of the inequality or stereotyping in the workplace and how
this issue structured (Merriam, 2002). Its recommended that the topic chosen
should be with interest of researcher to ensure that the study will be successful
as he will be responsible of delivering the voice of participant in right
manner (Seidman, 2006).

Reading through the literature most of the previous researchers has
used qualitative method to study the
gender inequality, gender stereotyping and glass ceiling concepts. Such as Ensour , Al Maaitah, & Kharahsheh
(2017) who recently completed their study about Jordanian female
academics struggling in their career development with 20 female interviews and
a focus group of 13 female academic. Another similar study completed by Al-Asfour, et al (2017), around Saudi women’s work
challnges also used qyalitive approch of 12 in depth semi-structured
interviews. Another interesting example, is the study of Wood (2009),
who has done a stage study for over a decade, where she found that from the 30
mangers form Australia, 58% of male has achieved to senior level where only 27%
of female reached to a senior management role. Another comparable, male has
reached to their promotion in 2.5 years where female took 4.3 years to reach to
the same level. This emphasize what Marshall was indicating in her research
(1991, P.6) that women have been a threat whenever they are closer to reach to
a senior managerial level.

important to indicate that on the other hand, some researcher preferred quantitative
methods such as Adriana & Manolescu (2006)
who prefered studying indicators from gender index. Another study that used
quantitaive is (Saleem, Rafiq & Yusaf 2017) who has used the sample from
210 mangers respondents to obtain the quantitiave method. From this research