The numbers of women working in the United Arab Emirates who say they intend leaving their jobs within the next two years is far higher than the global average, a survey has revealed.
The findings show that 52% of female workers say they will look for a new employer compared to the 28% worldwide average.
The survey by professional services company Towers Watson found that the number of men in the UAE who said they would be looking for a new employer in the same period was just 42%.
The survey also reveals that only 31% of women said they would stay in their current job if a comparable role was available somewhere else.
Marjola Rintjema, senior consultant with the firm, said: “There is clearly a disconnect between female employees and their organisations in the UAE.”
She said that the employers should communicate more effectively with their female workers and have better defined engagement strategies to reduce the risk of early departures.
To help employees remain with a company for longer, says Ms Rintjema, they should focus on career development to help establish a well-defined career advancement plan.
For that to work, the company is advised to show how their global career framework operates which would show people the paths they will need to follow to advance their careers and this simple strategy would help businesses retain their top talent.
Two of the main reasons for women opting to leave employers, the survey found, were the perceived lack of opportunity to progress and a lack of trust in their senior managers.
Meanwhile, another survey which has been published looked at how businesses across the Middle East can help their professional women workers return to employment after maternity leave.
The survey, by office services firm Regus, questioned more than 26,000 business people in more than 90 countries.
Help for mothers
It found that employers would need to introduce greater flexibility, use video-conferencing more effectively, and increase job sharing and have near or on-site crèche facilities.
Garry Gürtler, Regus’ vice president in the Middle East, said: “There is a strong case for the greater inclusion of returning mothers in the workforce: increased GDP, sustained growth, bridging the skills gap and fighting poverty are just some of the benefits.”
Businesses with effective strategies would benefit from having a pool of skilled workers, decreased turnover of staff and increased productivity.
Mr Gürtler says that workers identified the need for greater flexibility in working hours and where they work as being the main reasons for returning to their workplace after maternity leave.
He added that the survey revealed that those businesses which encouraged mothers to return to work saw improved productivity plus lower hiring and training costs.