Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
UAE ECONOMIC Vision:
Women in Science, Technology
and ENgineering
Sponsored by:
1 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Content...
2 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
UAE eco...
3 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
The UAE...
4 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
sector,...
5 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Since i...
6 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Creatin...
7 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Of cour...
8 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
The Abu...
9 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
UAE pol...
10 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
in Sci...
11 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Almost...
12 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
For ma...
13 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Women ...
14 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
If the...
15 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
obstac...
16 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
do not...
17 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
compan...
18 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
More w...
19 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
asked ...
20 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Lookin...
21 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Append...
22 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
First ...
23 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Engine...
24 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
On cho...
25 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Work w...
26 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Raisin...
27 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
Green ...
28 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
The pu...
29 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014
UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering
20,000...
GENEVA
Boulevard des Tranchees 16
1206 Geneva
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 566 24 70
E-mail: geneva@eiu.com
LONDON
25 St James’...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering

1,315 views

Published on

The UAE has made considerable progress in empowering women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and women are responding with strong academic performance, according a new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit

Published in: Science, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering

  1. 1. UAE ECONOMIC Vision: Women in Science, Technology and ENgineering Sponsored by:
  2. 2. 1 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Contents About this research 2 Executive summary 3 1. From oil to knowledge 5 Weaving a new economic pattern 8 2. Female STEM education 9 Wise policy 13 3. Views on the labour market 14 Strata manufacturing 19 4. Conclusion 20 Appendix: Survey results 21
  3. 3. 2 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering UAE economic vision: Women in science, technology and engineering is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by the Advanced Technology Investment Company. It looks at the United Arab Emirates’ strategy for becoming a knowledge-based economy, with particular attention paid to the role women will play in science, technology and engineering (STE) in the future. The research is based on a combination of extensive desk research, in-depth interviews with independent experts and a survey of 394 UAE-based female students conducted in October and November 2013. Of these students, 85% are Emirati nationals and 70% are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related courses. The majority are in engineering (50%) at undergraduate level. Most respondents (82%) are between the ages of 18 and 24, but almost 13% have work experience in a science, technology and engineering (STE) environment. The Economist Intelligence Unit is solely responsible for the content of this report, which was written by Trevor McFarlane. The Economist Intelligence Unit would like to thank the following individuals for their time and insights during this research: l HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of culture, youth and community development, UAE l Nadia Alhasani, dean of the women in science, technology and engineering programme, Petroleum Institute l Noor Ghazal Aswad, research assistant, North Dakota State University l Heyam Al Blooshi, mechanical engineer, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (GASCO) l Dhuha Fadhel, economist, Economic Policy and Research Centre, Dubai Economic Council l Rehab Al Hashmi, electrical engineer, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) l Nabil Ibrahim, chancellor, Abu Dhabi University l Roy Jakobs, chief executive, Middle East and Turkey, Royal Philips l Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, executive director, Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) l Tod Laursen, president, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research l Maha Al Mansouri, director of human resources, Masdar Future Energy Company l Khawla Al Mentheri, petroleum engineer, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) l Badr Al Olama, chief executive officer, Strata Manufacturing l Suaad Al Oraimi, gender specialist, United Arab Emirates University l Diana Samulewicz, head of training and development, Direct HR Ltd l HE Mohammed Omran Al Shamsi, chancellor, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE l Sara Hussain Thabet, petrophysicist, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) l Georgeta Vidican, senior researcher, Competitiveness and Social Development Department, German Development Institute l Behjat Al Yousuf, dean of students, Masdar Institute About this research
  4. 4. 3 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering The UAE has made admirable economic progress over the last 40 years, hitherto funded mostly by oil receipts. Yet it has decided to chart a new policy course: diversification away from hydrocarbons towards a high-skilled, knowledge- based economy, which is increasingly focused on producing high-value products and services. To meet this change in economic direction, thousands of graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are needed. And with government strategy focused on building an economy reliant on nationals, Emirati graduates are especially desirable. Key to the success of this plan will be the empowerment of women. UAE-based female students are outperforming their male counterparts, with educators interviewed for this report describing Emirati female students as being more dedicated and determined than male pupils. The big issue is how many of these women will enter into STEM education and, eventually, productive positions in the labour market. The answer has implications for policymakers, private employers and the government-related entities (GREs) tasked with creating the UAE’s future economic growth engines. In this report, The Economist Intelligence Unit surveys the female students expected to shape the UAE’s next wave of development, both STEM- and non-STEM-related, and looks at the science and technology projects creating demand for their skills. If the country’s economic vision is to be achieved, at least with Emirati participation, empowering females in these areas is vitally important. Here are the main conclusions of the report. l The UAE has made admirable progress in empowering women. Emirati women have reversed a gender gap in education and are now outperforming their male counterparts, including in STEM courses. In the labour market females have also made impressive progress over the last 20 years, although participation remains low by global standards. l STEM education is the long-term solution to Emirati unemployment. A mismatch between labour market demand and educational output exacerbates jobless rates among citizens. Encouraging more nationals into STEM education will bolster future employment levels, as demand for such graduates is expected to soar thanks to government investment plans. l Emiratisation in science, technology and engineering (STE) will only work if citizens’ attitudes about the private sector change. Almost three-quarters of survey respondents would prefer to avoid working in the private Executive summary
  5. 5. 4 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering sector, yet the public sector is bloated and government policy revolves around empowering private enterprise. If unemployment is to be reduced, further efforts are needed to show Emiratis the benefits of working in the private sector. l Female UAE-based STEM students view education as more than a means to make money. Students see potential careers in STE fields as prestigious, interesting and, although not only attracted by money, they recognise the remuneration as rewarding. Beyond this, they also see their career as a way to give back to the UAE by contributing in areas that are important to the nation’s development. l Perceptions of females studying and working in STE are evolving quickly. The idea that areas such as engineering are for men only is changing rapidly in the UAE. The government is taking active measures to empower women in the workplace, and female students recognise that more opportunities are opening up to study and work in STEM-related areas. However, although attitudes are evolving swiftly, survey respondents with work experience think that UAE society still sees STE as a man’s domain. l Women have made gains in STE work, but challenges still exist.Females face an array of obstacles in the workplace, including managing a work-life balance; cultural obstacles, such as society seeing women as family caretakers rather than engineers or scientists; a dearth of role models and mentors; and gender discrimination. More proactive measures from both the public and the private sector are needed to tackle these obstacles. l Government efforts to empower women in STEM education will benefit the economy in the long-term. A majority of STEM students surveyed plan to remain working in STE while raising a family at the same time, which is good news for employers and the broader economy. If the female labour participation rate reaches the same level as that for men, GDP could benefit by as much as 12%.
  6. 6. 5 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Since it was established in 1971, the oil-rich federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has proved itself admirably nimble in building one of the Middle East’s largest economies. At more than US$400bn, it is the second-largest economy in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia, and accounts for more than one-quarter of the GDP of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) economies. Industry, services, trade, transport, tourism, retail, and real estate and construction help propel the economy forward. But with the world’s seventh-largest proven reserves in both oil and gas, hydrocarbons are the mainstay of the economy, accounting for 42% of the UAE’s GDP in 2012. In the capital, Abu Dhabi, which holds over 90% of the country’s reserves, the share of oil and natural gas is higher, at 56.1%. UAE charter 2021 “Crude revenues are welcome, but the government is keen to reduce the dependency in order to become a sustainable, fully diversified economy,” says Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE minister of culture, youth and community development. This objective has been laid out in the country’s development plan, The UAE National Charter for 2021, which was released in February 2010. Planners hope to use the UAE’s oil wealth to diversify away from hydrocarbons and move further up the production value chain, thus boosting non-oil exports and attracting foreign direct investment. “The UAE vision 2021 states that the federal government will work on replacing the current investment-led growth strategy by a strategy that is driven by knowledge, innovation, research, science and technology,” says Dhuha Fadhel, an economist at the Economic Policy and Research Centre in the Dubai Economic Council. Sectors expected to drive the future economy include renewable energy; high-tech manufacturing; biotechnology; pharmaceuticals; telecommunications equipment; and aerospace and healthcare equipment, among others. Oil and gas will remain vitally important, though, with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) projected to boost output capacity to 3.5m barrels/day by 2020. Creating this economic base will not be without its difficulties. Data from the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index (KEI), which takes into account the extent to which a country’s environment is conducive for knowledge to be used for economic development, ranks the UAE in 42nd place. Although this is respectable and the best in the Arab world, it is far from the top- ten ranking the country wants. Education and training will be key if it is not only to climb up in the rankings, but also to reduce its dependency on foreign labour. From oil to knowledge 1
  7. 7. 6 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Creating jobs for locals Following decades of attracting millions of foreign workers, the UAE economy has become distorted, providing jobs better suited to unskilled foreigners rather than locals. For example, the construction sector contributes over 10% to GDP and employs over 1m foreigners, but only a few thousand locals. It does not help that Emiratis tend to be well off— thanks in part to the government’s generous distribution of oil wealth—and are therefore often unwilling to work in less prestigious roles. Many also prefer the public sector, where employees work fewer hours. There is, moreover, a common perception that working for the government offers better pay and greater job security, but the public sector is already bloated. Exacerbating the matter is a mismatch between the labour market and the education system, which currently churns out a disproportionately high number of arts graduates. For example, 53% of all Dubai-based graduates left university with a business degree in 2010. It is for these reasons that the unemployment rate among nationals remains stubbornly high at 14%, despite robust economic growth and huge government efforts to bring them into the workforce. Indeed, policymakers introduced a quota system, known as Emiratisation, more than a decade ago, to draw more locals into the private sector. But of the 4m employees in private businesses only 20,000 are Emiratis, and most work in banks, insurance firms and commercial companies. Therefore, with so much ground to cover on Emiratisation, the government is taking another strategy to boost employment opportunities. “Efforts are being made to encourage young nationals into STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education, while at the same time investing in capital-intensive industries that create high-tech jobs that will be attractive to nationals,” says Sheikh Nahyan. Scientists, technologists and engineers But this, too, is not without challenges. Developing a whole generation’s skills to suit these new industries takes time, and these talents are currently in short supply. Degrees related to sciences, information technology and engineering produced fewer than 5,000 graduates in the academic year 2011-12. Yet demand for such talents is soaring: almost 60,000 extra engineers will be needed between 2011 and 2020, according to the UAE Society of Engineers. ADNOC alone will require 1,000 a year, and the country’s rapid development in industry, aviation, aerospace, green technology and nuclear power will see demand for STEM graduates rocket. This begs the obvious question: who will create this future economy? The population of the UAE is 8.3m, but Emiratis make up just 11.5%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. It becomes clear, then, that the country will continue to rely on expatriate workers and will require more foreigners, not fewer. Source: UAE National Bureau of Statistics Figure 1 29%71% MaleFemale Graduates of government universities 2011-12 (% respondents)
  8. 8. 7 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Of course, at the same time more high-achieving nationals will be needed to fill these skilled positions too. In many cases this means tapping into female graduates. UAE women have reversed a gender gap in education. For instance, girls in grade 4 (approximately aged 8-9) are outperforming boys in reading, science and maths, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, an international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of 4th- and 8th-graders. By the age of 15, females considerably outperform males in all domains, although the gap narrows in mathematics, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment, or Pisa, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This trend continues at university, with females accounting for 62% of all graduates in the academic year 2011-12. In government universities, which educate mostly Emiratis, this figure jumps to 71%. In STEM-related courses the number of female graduates reached 50.7% across all institutions, and 56.8% in government universities. Indeed, in all areas except engineering women are graduating in higher numbers than men. The reason for the success of female students is often cultural. “There are more rules for us, and we’ve less free time, so we tend to study and be more disciplined than the boys,” says Heyam Al Blooshi, a mechanical engineer at Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (GASCO). But there are also two other significant issues at play. First, young men are more likely to study abroad than girls for cultural reasons. No official UAE data exist, but the trend is reflected in the share of nationals studying on government- funded scholarships overseas: almost three- quarters (68%) are male. Second, men have more opportunities to go into well-paid positions in the police force or the army as high school graduates. Female empowerment Given this growing gender gap, it is vitally important for the UAE’s future economy that Emirati females make their way into relevant positions in the labour market. But despite being open to the world, the UAE remains a relatively traditional society, where some citizens still view the primary role of women as the family care giver. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (which is based on equality in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment and health), the UAE does best among Arab countries. But in 109th position out of 136 nations, there is still a long way to go. That said, policymakers are serious about empowering women. Gender equality is enshrined in the nation’s constitution, and the UAE is the first country in the Arab world to enforce quotas for women on company boards. It is also on the executive board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Moreover, females have gained access to key positions in the cabinet, parliament, judiciary and diplomatic corps. And young Emirati females are increasingly breaking the mould by becoming commercial airline pilots, joining the military and working in aluminium smelters. Indeed, UAE women have made strong progress in the job market over the last two decades. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the female labour force participation rate reached 43.8% in 2011, compared with 25.6% in 1990.1 Most of these jobs are in the public sector, where females account for 66% of workers, one-third of whom hold senior positions. Government efforts to push the female empowerment agenda have certainly helped these numbers. Suaad Al Oraimi, gender 1 Definition of labour force participation rate: the proportion of the population aged 15-64 that is economically active; all people who supply the labour for the production of goods and services during a specified period.
  9. 9. 8 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, a blueprint for economic development, will create huge demand for home-grown scientists, technologists and engineers. Released in 2008, the document focuses on economic diversification in eight key sectors: cultural tourism, aviation, manufacturing, media, healthcare, petrochemical, financial services and renewable energy. To this end Mubadala, a government-owned development company, is spearheading multibillion-dollar investments to build new industries, attract private investment and create hi-tech employment opportunities for nationals. For example, through its Aerospace, Communications Technology and Defence Services (ACTDS) business unit, which includes 21 companies, officials are targeting 20,000 jobs within the aerospace manufacturing business alone by 2030. Abu Dhabi-owned Etihad Airways and Dubai- owned Emirates Airways are driving demand in the aerospace industry with recent multibillion- dollar orders for new aircraft, and both cities are boosting airport capacity, which means further demand for aviation engineers and technicians. Huge amounts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates will be needed for other large-scale projects such as the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kazid), Masdar, a multifaceted investment in green technology, and the development of four nuclear reactors. Weaving a new economic pattern specialist at United Arab Emirates University, says: “The leaders of the country are big champions of female empowerment, but sometimes it takes society time to catch up.” Attitudes will probably change fast given the young age of the UAE population—those aged 15-29 account for 25% of the total. “Look what the UAE has achieved in 42 years,” says Mohammed Omran Al Shamsi, chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology. “The UAE people have seen the country change very quickly, and they’re used to adapting with this change— attitudes have evolved so much over the last ten years with regard to women working in different types of fields.” It is worth remembering that some European countries have gone through similar transformations in recent decades. During the 1980s the female labour force participation rate in Greece, Ireland and Spain was approximately 30%, around the same as the female Emirati level. Over the next three decades participation increased by 15-20% in these countries. If the UAE follows a similar path, GDP is estimated to increase by 12% thanks to an uptick in productivity and consumption.3 2 Opening Doors: Gender Equality And Development In The Middle East And North Africa, World Bank, 2013. Available at: https:// openknowledge.worldbank. org/bitstream/handle/109 86/12552/751810PUB0EPI 002060130Opening0doors. pdf?sequence=1 3 Empowering the Third Billion: Women and the World of Work in 2012; Booz Company, 2012. Available at: http://www.booz. com/media/file/BoozCo_ Empowering-the-Third- Billion_Full-Report.pdf If the UAE follows a similar path, GDP is estimated to increase by 12% thanks to an uptick in productivity and consumption.
  10. 10. 9 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering UAE policymakers have impressive plans for creating science- and technology-related projects to diversify the economy and create employment for locals. The corollary is simple: if the country is to achieve these lofty goals, it must become easier for more students to enter into STEM education. However, this is not without its difficulties, especially with regard to the quality of high school education, where rote learning is common. Although the government is working to change this, “subjects are often taught in a less interactive way—chalk and talk. The lab infrastructure, which would allow students to have a practical learning experience, is not widely available,” says, Diana Samulewicz, head of training and development at Direct HR Ltd. It is for this reason that higher education institutions are often held back by the quality of school graduates. For instance, 94% of Emirati students entering a federal university require a foundation year to improve levels of science, mathematics and English.4 Awareness of what STEM education entails is also low among many younger pupils in the UAE. “Students often do not fully understand what the different types of degrees and jobs actually entail,” says Tod Laursen, the president of Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research. Lack of awareness is even more pronounced within society, with many associating the word “engineer” with fieldwork and labour. “When I first tell people I am a petroleum engineer, they say ‘okay, you work with cars or put petrol in the engines of cars’,” says Khawla Al Mentheri, a petroleum engineer at Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO). A family affair Even more damaging is when parents, guardians or siblings do not understand what STE entails. As in much of the Arab world, the family unit is extremely strong in the UAE, and the extended family plays a critical role in the development of daughters. Owing to a lack of meaningful career guidance in high schools, family members often become career councillors, despite the fact that many are unqualified.5 Experts interviewed for this report say that many aspiring STEM students face problems with male and female family members believing that some areas of study are not suitable for women. “It is important that the whole family is brought into the university recruitment process,” says Nadia Alhasani, the dean of the Women Female STEM education 2 4 The Ministry of Education Strategy 2010-2020; UAE Ministry of Education, 2010. Available at: http:// planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/ upload/United%20Arab%20 Emirates/United%20 Arab%20Emirates_ Strategy_2010-2020.pdf 5 Expanding Women’s Participation in Science, Technology and Engineering: The Case of the United Arab Emirates. Paper submitted to the 8th Triple Helix Conference in Madrid, October 2010. Available at: http://www. leydesdorff.net/th8/ TRIPLE%20HELIX%20-%20 VIII%20CONFERENCE/ PROCEEDINGS/0094_ Samulewicz_Diana_O-041/ Triple%20helix%20 paper%2030_8_2010_final. pdf
  11. 11. 10 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering in Science, Technology and Engineering Programme at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. “Sometimes the parents are against their daughter becoming an engineer because they don’t fully understand what it entails.” It is important to note that many UAE families hold progressive views on women working in STE. Indeed, the vast majority of STEM students (49%) in our survey received strong support when deciding to choose their course, and this continued while studying for their degree (48%). In fact, extremely few families (34%) discouraged their daughters from choosing STEM, and even fewer (less than 1%) continued to dissuade them during the course of the degree. Moreover, a majority of respondents were inspired or influenced to study a STEM subject by a family member, many by both mothers or female guardians (37%) and fathers or male guardians (33%), which illustrates the positive role family can play when progressive gender views exist. And one family’s decision often influences another’s, which in turn promotes change within society. That said, female STEM students believe society at large is not against them: half (50%) of survey respondents do not believe that it is difficult for women to study a STEM-related subject because society sees it as a male domain. Indeed, over four-fifths (87%) of respondents recognise that greater opportunities are opening up to females wanting to study in this area. “More and more girls are deciding to choose engineering because we want to play a role in the development of our country, and the government is supporting us,” explains Rehab Al Hashmi, an electrical engineer at the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO). Careers of the future Understanding why women select one degree over another is important if educators and policymakers are to convince more schoolchildren to choose the degrees that the future economy will require. Almost four-fifths of respondents to our survey (79%) decided to study STEM courses because they found the subject interesting. Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey. On choosing to study STEM While studying STEM 195 29 20 12 14 189 28 23 2 13 In your view, how would you characterise the support you received (and/or continue to receive) from your family when you decided to study STEM? (Respondents) Figure 2 Strong Weak No support Discouraging Not important
  12. 12. 11 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Almost the same percentage of survey participants also see the jobs available to such graduates as a big attraction, with 87% agreeing that they are also “interesting”. Still, it is important how STEM study is pitched to women compared with men. “For boys it is often a case that they have the ability in maths and so decide to become engineers,” says Mr Laursen of Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research. “Women, however—data suggest—are driven more by a desire to be of service to the greater good, and look at how they can help society.” Recruitment, then, should focus on the great benefit that STE jobs contribute to society. Indeed, more than four-fifths (89%) of respondents chose to study a STEM-related subject because they wanted to give back to the UAE, while almost two-thirds (64%) feel that society respects people who work in a related field, such as an engineer. “Emiratis are very patriotic and understand the country’s next wave of development depends on them gaining the relevant skills,” says Behjat Al Yousuf, the dean of students at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, cash is also another draw, as over four-fifths (89%) of respondents think that studying STEM will make them wealthy. Making the case to non-STEM students The majority of non-STEM respondents, meanwhile, think they are also on the road to financial success, with over one-third (35%) believing they can earn more by working in a field related to their current study path. Appealing to their patriotism will not work either: more than two-thirds (70%) understand that UAE development depends on success in STE, yet they still decide to specialise in another area. This is despite over half (55%) enjoying STEM subjects; they simply find their current field of study more interesting. I want to give back to the UAE STEM related jobs are well respected by society STEM subjects are interesting Studying STEM offers interesting job opportunities Studying STEM will make me wealthy STEM jobs offer greater opportunities to work abroad Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey To what extent do you agree with the following statements as to why you choose to study a STEM subject. Select one for each statement. (% respondents) Figure 3 Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know 3173851 382958 54264024 513134633 491176 3364148
  13. 13. 12 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering For many (59%), though, STEM courses are perceived as too difficult. “Having the right teachers and creating a passion among children for science, technology and maths when they are young is critical in order to attract them into these fields of study later in life,” says Nabil Ibrahim, the chancellor of Abu Dhabi University. Improvement is needed on this front: one-third (34%) of survey participants realised that STEM was not for them before they reached the age of 14. What’s more, students who did eventually choose STEM were not interested at a particularly young age. Over half (53%) of survey respondents studying STEM say they were between 15 and 19 years old when they first became interested in this field of study. This shows that an opportunity exists to attract pupils at a younger age, and thus bolster the number of STEM graduates in later life. The current high school education system is not helping to bring more students into STEM. Pupils are currently forced to choose either science or arts streams at the age of 15. Many teenagers often choose arts because they perceive it as easier than science, resulting in an oversupply of arts and humanities graduates, which in turn exacerbates unemployment among nationals later in life. Plans are afoot to change the system, but the specifics of what will replace it have yet to be announced. I like STEM related subjects, but am more interested in my current course I can earn more money working in a non-STEM role Favouritism through personal connections is a significant factor in landing a job in the UAE STEM subjects are boring STEM related jobs are not important to the development of the UAE STEM related jobs are not well respected by society STEM work environments are male domains STEM subjects are too difficult Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey To what extent do you agree with these statements? Please select one answer for each statement. (% respondents) Figure 4 22 14 292411 9 8272933 44161745 14517 29 4104119197 549219106 11 10282524112 202023214 372825 Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
  14. 14. 13 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education face various hurdles, but the right policy from educators can overcome potential obstacles, resulting in more female scientists and engineers in the UAE. In 2006 the Petroleum Institute (PI)— established over 12 years ago to provide graduates to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)—launched its Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) programme with 104 Emirati high school graduates. Today it has over 500 students, representing 37.5% of the total undergraduate population, and more than 200 alumnae. Such progress is attributable to the WiSE programme developed by the PI to tackle three common difficulties faced by educational institutes trying to attract women to study science and engineering. The first issue is the overall image of the profession, which is sometimes perceived to be dull. To counter this, recruiters focus on the softer aspects of engineering and its importance in everyday life by offering engineering examples relevant to the lives of young women, such as mobile phones. The second difficulty is the stereotyping of engineering and science students. “It is important to point out that we’re not geeks or tomboys—a lot of girls will be put off becoming engineers because they think it’s not cool or it’s not for females,” says Sara Hussain Thabet, a petrophysicist at the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO). To challenge this, WiSE educators have created an ambassador programme, where students give presentations on non-engineering and science- related issues to all sectors of society, not least other women. Moreover, the women’s building of the PI is decorated with female students in mind, with splashes of colour, artwork and non-traditional furniture, as well as quiet areas offering “mummy rooms” for naps and breastfeeding. The final problem is the issue of working in a male-dominated environment. WiSE programme leaders tackle this by first having students wear industry safety gear as much as possible to get them used to the environment. Female students also go on frequent trips to oilfields, power plants and industry training facilities as well as internships. This helps them to familiarise themselves with their environment, and for the workplace to become accustomed to their presence. Wise policy
  15. 15. 14 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering If the UAE is to attract more women into the workforce as scientists, technologists and engineers, greater efforts are needed to change perceptions of the labour market. For instance, over half (56%) of STEM students responding to our survey believe that favouritism through personal connections is a significant factor when it comes to landing a job. This compares with only one-third (34%) of non- STEM respondents. The reason for this is socioeconomic status, according to Georgeta Vidcan, a senior researcher at the German Development Institute, a think-tank for global development policy, who conducted research on the topic. UAE-based women who come from rich backgrounds tend to be less likely to engage in science, technology and engineering compared with those with a lower socioeconomic status. The well-off among Emirati society “have easier access to managerial professions through personal or family contacts or wasta, and expectations of the type of jobs they would be engaged with are different,” says Ms Vidcan. Moreover, the economic imperative to work as, say, an engineer, which many in the UAE consider to be a tough job, is not there when you come from a wealthy family. Preferentialism, which occurs all around the world, is not the only problem. More than three- quarters (76%) of STEM survey respondents feel that other challenges exist for women wanting to work in these areas. For instance, almost two- thirds of respondents (60%) with experience of working in a science, technology and engineering environment believe that female employees face obstacles when trying to manage a work-life balance. Another issue is the UAE’s paid maternity leave, which is low by global standards: 60 days for government employees and 45 days for private-sector staff. Almost two-fifths of STEM respondents (39%) believe this to be a difficulty, compared with 18% who do not see it as a problem. Far more (66%), however, see cultural issues as a barrier to women in STE. Co-education is not universal in the UAE, which means some entry- level graduates are unaccustomed to working with the opposite sex. “I have seen it with some friends who become quiet when male colleagues are around, which makes working in teams less easy,” says Ms Hussain Thabet. Meanwhile, over two-thirds (65%) of respondents with work experience in an STE job recognise that women face an obstacle in the general belief that STE-related fields are better suited to men, while more than two-fifths (46%) of participants identify gender as being an Views on the labour market 3 6 Although evolving quickly, parts of UAE society still hold old-fashioned views on the role of women, not least with regard to employment and mixed gender environments. Experts interviewed for this report believe that the proportion of the population with such views account for a small minority.
  16. 16. 15 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering obstacle. There is less consensus, however, on whether pay discrimination exists. Almost one- third (30%) of STEM students do not believe that the salaries of female scientists, technologists and engineers are lower than those of their male colleagues, while 31% think men do better when it comes to income. Both federal law and company policy have a role to play when it comes to discrimination. However, the UAE Labour Law of 1980 does not cover the issue of gender, and big international companies are known for getting it wrong on this matter. According to the Boston Consulting Group, 85% of leading companies view gender diversity as a top priority, yet only one in five companies have targeted recruiting strategies for female talent.7 Meanwhile, physically getting to the field can be another issue—much of the country’s industrial expansion is far outside the cities. Female engineers are often forced to drive back and forth from the worksite because of a lack of facilities for women to stay overnight, which sometimes results in female engineers getting less site experience than their male colleagues. And once women engineers arrive at the field, they can come up against other difficulties. “There have been cases where companies didn’t even have the necessary safety gear for women on site, so in the end a university had to lend their female equipment to them,” says Noor Ghazal Aswad, a research assistant at North Dakota State University. Someone to emulate According to experts interviewed for this report, another obstacle facing women in STE is a lack of role models and mentors. Yet STEM survey respondents are undecided on the issue, with 30% agreeing that a dearth of female role models is an obstacle, compared with 27% who Women in STEM face an obstacle in managing a work-family life balance Women in STEM face cultural obstacles Women in STEM face an obstacle with access to maternity leave Women in STEM face an obstacle with gender discrimination Women in STEM face an obstacle of lower salaries compared with their male counterparts Women in STEM face an obstacle with a lack of role models and mentors Women in STEM face obstacles in the general belief that STEM related fields (such as engineering) are more suited to men Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey To what extent do you agree with the following statements about the obstacles female STEM graduates face when working in a STEM related job in the UAE? Please select all that apply. (% respondents) Figure 5 Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know 31 25 103531 12 46151529 4 4131340 4615 13 10817192521 191713191219 17819251515 6132927 7 Shattering the Glass Ceiling, Boston Consulting Group, August 2012. Available at: http://www.bcg.com/ documents/file110083.pdf
  17. 17. 16 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering do not agree. That said, a fraction of participants (4%) say they were inspired or influenced to study STEM by a mentor, and only 15% by a role model, which indicates either a lack of such people to emulate or their ineffectiveness. The latter seems unlikely, given the success of female role models and mentors in attracting more women into STE in developed countries.8 “The more we push for women to move into highly responsible jobs, the more it helps the younger generation,” says Mr Ibrahim of Abu Dhabi University. “Just by having a faculty member who is a female can get more women interested in entering the programme here in Abu Dhabi University.” Private versus public Encouraging more women into STEM education may prove easier than coaxing them into private business. Four-fifths (81%) of STEM students do not want to work in the private sector. Half (50%) aim for a job in the public sector, almost one-third (31%) want to work for government- related entities (GREs), and only 14% want to join a private enterprise. A similar trend exists with non-STEM respondents, although they are slightly more willing to work in a private organisation (23%). Almost half (46%) target the government sector, and one-quarter (25%) want to work for a GRE. The problem in the UAE is perception, because “students think that working in a private company means they could lose their jobs easily, but if you look at the laws and regulations for hiring and firing, it’s strict,” says Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, the executive director of Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech). What’s more, there are other ways to attract locals to the private sector. “Companies should focus on career development and the international experience that they can offer Emiratis,” says Roy Jakobs, chief executive, Middle East and Turkey at Royal Philips, a Netherlands-based multinational. Salary and job expectations Nevertheless, cash is going to be an important part of the package when trying to attract fresh graduates, and UAE remuneration is hefty by international standards. The majority (33%) of STEM graduates in our survey expect almost US$6,000-8,000 per month for an entry-level engineer package, which is broadly speaking the market rate. Non-STEM respondents expect less, with the majority (31%) assuming almost US$4,000-6,000 per month. Meanwhile, despite the rising demand for STEM graduates, many of whom are actually guaranteed jobs by government-owned Upon graduating what area of the economy would you most like to work in? (% respondents) Figure 6 The public sector (ie, the government) A government related entity (ie, companies run like private firms yet with majority government ownership) Other The private sector (ie, a private company) 50 31 14 5 Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey 8 Engaging Girls in STEM: Role Models, Center for Research on Girls (CRG) at Laurel School, Ohio, 2011. Available at: http:// www.laurelschool.org/ about/documents/CRG_ ROLEMODEL.pdf
  18. 18. 17 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering companies on graduating, students in our survey are slightly glum regarding their prospects. Over four-fifths of STEM survey respondents (85%) think the job market is tricky for entry- level graduates, and only 15% perceive it as favourable. For those with two years’ experience, however, it is a different story: 71% of respondents believe prospects for finding work look good. And with five years of work behind them, over four-fifths (87%) are confident that their skills will be in demand. Surprisingly, given the oversupply of humanities-related graduates, non-STEM survey respondents are slightly more positive regarding their prospects for entry-level employment. Roughly four-fifths (81%) in our survey think the job market is difficult for entry-level graduates, and almost one-fifth (19%) perceive it as favourable. With two years of work experience, over half (54%) feel positive about their future employment outlook, and after five years in employment nearly three-quarters (76%) feel secure in their job. Future make-up of the labour market The good news for employers and policymakers is that women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics are keen to get into the STE workforce and stay there. The majority of STEM survey respondents (68%) see themselves working as scientists, technologists and engineers in ten years’ time. And over half of all survey participants (54%) plan to raise a family at the same time. “Men have a role to play here as well, because it is up to us to support our wives when they want to work and progress in their career,” says Mr Janahi of DuBiotech. Thinking about your future, where do you see yourself in 10 years time from now? (% respondents) Figure 7 Raising a family and working within a STEM related field within the UAE Raising a family and working within a STEM related area outside of the UAE Raising a family and working within a non-STEM related field within the UAE Other Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey Running your own business in a non-STEM field Not raising a family and working in a STEM related field in the UAE Don’t know Not raising a family and working, but in a non-STEM related field in the UAE Not working Running your own business in a STEM related field 54 11 8 6 6 5 4 2 1 1 1 Not working, and instead being a stay at home mother
  19. 19. 18 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering More worrying, however, is the finding that almost one-quarter (24%) of respondents plan to leave a STE-related field in the UAE within a decade, which will be a loss to the economy. Given the large number of expatriates in the UAE, this is perhaps not surprising, as many graduates eventually return to their home country. For those STEM survey respondents wanting to stay in STE in the UAE, the green technology sector is the most attractive industry to work in (22%), followed by energy (17%). It is worth pointing out that many survey respondents are guaranteed jobs in the energy sector after graduating, and the UAE government has heavily promoted Masdar, its multifaceted investment in green technology, which appears to have resonated with students. Other sectors vary in the level of interest from students: biotechnology (15%); high-tech manufacturing (14%); nuclear (11%); and aerospace (2%). Among non-STEM survey participants, green technology holds even more appeal (33%); almost one-quarter express no preference (23%) about where they work, while 16% would choose the energy sector (16%). Less attractive industries to non-STEM respondents include nuclear (8%); high-tech manufacturing (7%); biotechnology (7%); and aerospace (3%). Employer’s perspective Regardless of how appealing these sectors become, companies will struggle to fill their vacancies with Emiratis only. Access to local talent is an issue high on the agenda of all organisations. “There is nothing I would like to do more than hire more Emiratis, because locals always understand their own market better than foreigners, but we have to be realistic because the pool is relatively small,” says Mr Jakobs. Active and smarter co-ordination between academia and industry would help bridge the shortage of locals. “The bigger employers within DuBiotech Research Park told us their labour requirements—chemists, biologists, lab technicians and so on,” says Mr Janahi. “We Which of the following sectors would you most like to work in? (% respondents) Figure 8 Green technology Energy Nuclear technology Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit survey No preference Hi-tech manufacturing Other Biotechnology 22 17 15 14 11 11 9 2Aerospace
  20. 20. 19 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering asked the local universities if they knew if this demand existed, and at the time they didn’t know anything about it.” Even when co-ordination between universities and the private sector works well, companies will still need to take extra measures to attract skilled locals. Besides participating in the usual career fairs, Royal Philips has gone so far as starting a Facebook page to interact with young students—potential future job candidates— before they even graduate, the idea being that the company can engage with potential future employees throughout their study years. Many companies carry out such campaigns because government pressure on private firms to hire nationals is strong, which means competition for skilled Emirati graduates is stiff. And organisations face high churn rates among entry-level employees, despite regular salary hikes, because skilled local workers are poached. Adding to the problem, many fresh graduates are impatient and expect to be a senior manager in a short amount of time, so moving from company to company is seen as way to progress. For effective Emiratisation, companies must create a clear communication strategy, explaining to staff the firm’s plans to develop their skills and career path as well as how their job contributes to the UAE’s development. Strata Manufacturing, an aerostructures manufacturing facility wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company, a government investment firm, supplies the likes of Airbus and Boeing. Created in 2010 in Al Ain, east of Abu Dhabi City, the firm employs around 600 staff. Of these, 35% are nationals, four-fifths of whom are women—and mostly all aerospace technicians. Many people wonder how the manufacturer managed such an Emiratisation feat. “We are seen as something different, exciting and new, and being part of the vision of Abu Dhabi means locals are very interested in contributing to their country,” says Badr Al Olama, chief executive officer of Strata. Another issue is that women often lack the mobility to travel to work or prefer to stay closer to their families for cultural reasons. Strata’s success illustrates the importance of bringing jobs—and thus relevant education—to rural areas. When Strata first opened its doors, sceptics doubted whether Emiratisation on the technical side could be achieved, but local women have shown that they are interested in working in non-traditional roles. Communication is key to introducing nationals into the technical workforce. “A fresh graduate should be shown on the first day the plan the company has for developing their skills and the development of a career path,” says Mr Al Olama. Strata Manufacturing
  21. 21. 20 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Looking at education data and listening to expert interviewees for this report, policymakers and employers can see that women are outperforming men in education, not least in areas related to creating a sustainable, diversified economy. The participation of UAE females, then, will be vitally important if the country is to meet its ambitious economic and localisation goals. As this report shows, the country has made admirable progress on the issue of women empowerment, but further work remains to be done. On the basis of desk research, in-depth interviews and the survey conducted for this report, it is possible to identify a number of priorities. These include the following. l Take active measures to create passion in young Emirati children for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Focus more education on learning “by doing”, with co-educational workshops and projects where possible, and develop educators’ skills in teaching mathematics to improve student outcomes. l Top priority must be given to reforming the high school education system. Students should be given more time to choose between studying arts and sciences. Measures are also needed to improve the standard of career guidance available to pupils. Families must be included in this process, so both students and parents understand the qualifications necessary for the modern job market. l Steps need to be taken to create more female role models and mentors. These should of course influence girls, but they should also target young boys and men to illustrate the importance of female participation in achieving the UAE vision. Parents with daughters working in STE fields should be encouraged through awareness campaigns in order to inspire other families to follow suit. l Bring relevant education and jobs to rural regions. Women in rural areas often lack the mobility to travel to cities for work. Geographical economic diversification, much of which is based on STE, should pay more attention to female employment, while courses at local educational institutions should reflect the local economy. l Further measures are needed to foster a work environment that is more supportive of UAE women. These include improved maternity leave and publicly financed parental leave schemes; enhanced access to childcare services; changes to the labour law to reduce gender- based discrimination; better flexible working arrangements; and access to finance and training for female entrepreneurs in STE fields. Conclusion 4
  22. 22. 21 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Appendix: Survey results Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding or the ability of respondents to choose multiple responses Female Male 100 0 (% respondents) Gender 17 or younger 18-24 years old 25-34 years old 35-44 years old 45-54 years old 55-64 years old 65-74 years old 75 or older 6 82 8 1 1 0 0 1 (% respondents) How old are you?
  23. 23. 22 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering First year Second year Third year Fourth year Masters Phd Other, please specify 32 21 19 16 4 1 6 (% respondents) Which of the following best describes your current level of study? United Arab Emirates Oman Jordan Egypt Syria Sudan Yemen India US Comoros Morocco Pakistan Algeria 85 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (% respondents) Which country are you from?
  24. 24. 23 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Engineering Humanities Behavioural and social sciences Biological sciences Education Medical sciences Mathematical and physical sciences 50 15 8 8 7 7 5 (% respondents) What is the primary area of interest for your current study? Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know I want to give back to the UAE STEM jobs offer greater opportunities to work abroad STEM related jobs are well respected by society STEM subjects are interesting Studying STEM offers interesting job opportunities Studying STEM will make me wealthy 3173851 382958 54264024 513134633 491176 3364148 (% respondents) To what extent do you agree with the following statements as to why you choose to study a STEM subject. select one for each statement Under 5 years old 5-9 years old 10-14 15-19 20-24 25 years or more 5 13 24 53 3 1 (% respondents) How old were you when you first became interseted in STEM The following questions were answered by STEM graduates
  25. 25. 24 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering On choosing to study STEM While studying STEM (Respondents) In your view, how would you characterise the support you received (and/or continue to receive) from your family when you decided to study STEM? 5 49 48 7 6 1 3 Strong Weak No support Discouraging Not important 7 3 3 Teacher Mother or female guardian Father or male guardian Sister Friend Nobody Brother Extended family member Government Role model (eg, a famous scientist or engineer etc) Other, please specify Mentor 38 37 33 26 23 21 19 16 15 15 8 4 (% respondents) Who, if anyone, inspired or influenced your decision to study a STEM subject? Please select all that apply It is difficult for women to enter STEM study because society sees it as a man’s domain Favouritism through personal connections is a significant factor in landing a job in the UAE More and more opportunities are opening up to women to study STEM Challenges still exist for women wanting to work in STEM fields 9 21 51 32 23271229 18251935 11036 1 3241444 (% respondents) To what extent do you agree with the following statements about the UAE? Please select one answer for each statement Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know 1
  26. 26. 25 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Work within a STEM related field within the UAE Further study within the STEM area Have a family, but work at the same time Other, please specify Don’t know Work within a STEM related field outside of the UAE Further study, but outside of the STEM area (eg, an MBA) Work, but not in a STEM related field Raise a family instead of working 28 27 13 10 9 6 5 2 1 (% respondents) Which, if any, of the following do you plan to do after studying your current STEM course? The public sector (ie, the government) A government related entity (ie, companies run like private firms yet with majority government ownership) The private sector (ie, a private company) Other, please specify 50 31 14 5 (% respondents) Upon graduating what area of the economy would you most like to work in? 30,000-40,000 dirhams per month 20,000-30,000 dirhams per month 10,000-20,000 dirhams per month 40,000-50,000 dirhams per month 50,000-60,000 dirhams per month I would work for free if it meant getting the right experience More than 70,000 dirhams per month Less than 10,000 dirhams per month 60,000-70,000 dirhams per month 33 18 16 11 6 5 4 3 3 (% respondents; US$1 = 3.67 Dhs) What are your salary expectations for an entry-level graduate position?
  27. 27. 26 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Raising a family and working within a STEM related field within the UAE Raising a family and working within a STEM related area outside of the UAE Running your own business in STEM related field Not raising a family and working in a STEM related field in the UAE Don’t know Raising a family and working within a non-STEM related field within the UAE Running your own business in a non-STEM field Not working, and instead being a stay at home mother Other, please specify Not working Not raising a family and working, but in a non-STEM related field in the UAE 54 11 8 6 6 5 4 2 1 1 1 (% respondents) Thinking about your future, where do you see yourself in 10 years time from now? STEM graduate with 5+ years of work experience STEM graduate with two years of work experience STEM graduate—no experience 14 6 9 1111869 22657 102055 1 (% respondents) In your view, how would you characterise the job market in the UAE for STEM graduates with the following amount of work experience? Very strong Strong Challenging Weak Very weak 1 Depends on the job No Yes Don’t know 39 31 21 9 (% respondents) When thinking about your future, would you be willing to take a work placement outside of the UAE?
  28. 28. 27 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Green technology Energy Biotechnology Hi-tech manufacturing Other, please specify Nuclear technology No preference Aerospace 22 17 15 14 11 11 9 2 (% respondents) Which of the following sectors would you most like to work in? Yes No 19 81 (% respondents) Do you have any work experience in a STEM related field? Women in STEM face an obstacle in managing a work-family life balance Women in STEM face an obstacle in the general belief that STEM related fields (such as engineering) are more suited to men Women in STEM face cultural obstacles Women in STEM face an obstacle with access to maternity leave Women in STEM face an obstacle with gender discrimination Women in STEM face an obstacle of lower salaries compared with their male counterparts Women in STEM face an obstacle with a lack of role models and mentors 31 25 103531 12 46151529 44131340 4615 13 10817192521 191713191219 17819251515 6132927 (% respondents) To what extent do you agree with the following statements about the obstacles female STEM graduates face when working in a STEM related job in the UAE? Please select all that apply. Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
  29. 29. 28 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering The public sector (ie, the government) A government related entity (ie, companies run like private firms yet with majority government ownership) The private sector (ie, private company) Other, please specify 46 25 23 6 (% respondents) Upon graduating, what area of the economy would you most like to work in? I like STEM related subjects, but am more interested in my current course STEM subjects are too difficult I can earn more money working in a non-STEM role Favouritism through personal connections is a significant factor in landing a job in the UAE STEM subjects are boring STEM related jobs are not important to the development of the UAE STEM work environments are male domains STEM related jobs are not well respected by society 22 14 292411 9 8272933 44161745 14517 29 4104119197 549219106 11 10282524112 202023214 372825 (% respondents) To what extent do you agree with these statements? Please select one answer for each statement. Strongly agree Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know Under 5 years old 5-9 years old 10-14 15-19 20-24 25 years or more 6 11 17 43 15 8 (% respondents) How old were you when you first realised that studying a STEM related course was not for you? The following questions were answered by non-STEM students
  30. 30. 29 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 UAE Economic Vision: Women in Science, Technology and Engineering 20,000-20,000 dirhams per month 10,000-20,000 dirhams per month 30,000-40,000 dirhams per month 40,000-50,000 dirhams per month I would work for free if it meant getting the right experience Less than 10,000 dirhams per month 50,000-60,000 dirhams per month More than 70,000 dirhams per month 60,000-70,000 dirhams per month 31 22 18 7 6 6 4 4 2 (% respondents; US$1 = 3.67 Dhs) What are your salary expectations for an entry-level graduate position? STEM graduate with 5+ years of work experience STEM graduate with two years of work experience STEM graduate—no experience 7 56 20 182241811 353847 8710 (% respondents) In your view, how would you characterise the UAE job market for graduates in your field with the following amount of work experience? Very strong Strong Challenging Weak Very weak Green technology No preference Energy Nuclear technology Biotechnology Hi-tech manufacturing Other, please specify Aerospace 33 23 16 8 7 7 4 3 (% respondents) Which of the following sectors would you most like to work in within a non-technical role?
  31. 31. GENEVA Boulevard des Tranchees 16 1206 Geneva Switzerland Tel: +41 22 566 24 70 E-mail: geneva@eiu.com LONDON 25 St James’s Street London, SW1A 1HG United Kingdom Tel: +44 20 7830 7000 E-mail: london@eiu.com FRANKFURT Hansaallee 154, “Haus Hamburg” 60320 Frankfurt am Main Germany Tel: +49 69 7171 880 E-mail: frankfurt@eiu.com PARIS 6 rue Paul Baudry Paris, 75008 France Tel: +33 1 5393 6600 E-mail: paris@eiu.com DUBAI PO Box 450056 Office No 1301A Thuraya Tower 2 Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 433 4202 E-mail: dubai@eiu.com While every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. nor the sponsor of this report can accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this white paper or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in this white paper.

×