The Balancing Act

Women in the GCC are poised for financial and corporate success, which can only benefit the region. If we all work together and support one another, we achieve balance, and everyone wins.

Economic and social development in the GCC are booming. Countries such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are building skyscrapers, roads, office buildings, malls, and mini-cities dedicated to culture, design, media, and education.

It has become the craze to utilize all of your citizens to get the locals on the forefront of leading the economy and pushing it forward. There are more women than ever heading financial firms and banks, writing opinionated columns for newspapers, and joining parliament.

“Arab businesswomen have the challenge of maintaining a certain perception of their role within their families and society.

GCC countries are allocating bigger budgets for training and supporting women in business. The Gulf offers more work opportunities than ever before for local women in the workplace. A growing, supportive culture is arising, encouraging women to pursue continuing education and take on new roles that give them a competitive edge in the market. There are fewer restrictions on women to work and study, but there remain cultural expectations that come with balancing a woman’s career and the rest of her personal life.

While women in other parts of the world struggle with work, balancing life and personal needs with professional expectations, Arab businesswomen have the challenge of maintaining a certain perception of their role within their families and society.

Women in this region are able to hold a better understanding of themselves if seen as a collective whole, while in the West, women prize themselves on personal achievement. It is crucial for women in this part of the world to see empowerment and success as connected to family and society, and to seek acceptance and approval while climbing the corporate ladder.

It is also important for women to choose partners who share their personal and professional goals, and to seek mentors and leadership opportunities that contribute to their country’s welfare. The challenge is to achieve success while balancing the role as both traditional figure and business figure. Blending the role of mother, family woman, and wife with that of businesswoman is crucial in order to be accepted in society and viewed as a role model.

Most women in the GCC want to work—not out of necessity, but to be able to contribute to their country’s national and economic development. They also crave interdependence and want to increase their financial independence, create jobs, and change the perception of Arab women in the GCC.

Women leaders see the need to become positive role models for their local communities, and the importance of raising their profiles and sharing their stories as a means of spreading positivity and empowering other women to step up to leadership roles.

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“Successful women need to speak up, speak out, and deliver impactful messages. This is the only way to be seen, heard, and remembered.

Women are no longer happy with being executives; they want to be successful managers and leaders by attaining qualifications, raising their profiles, and promoting their personal branding. In the 21st century, women are playing major roles in commerce, education, and public life. Successful women need to speak up, speak out, and deliver impactful messages. This is the only way to be seen, heard, and remembered.

We cannot do this without a support system. Having a supportive family or partner is crucial to furthering a woman’s career. A woman cannot lead without surrounding herself with friends, family and partners who have her back when she makes decisions.

It is crucial to have a family that helps you put your career first, and actually revolves around an understanding of the issue of empowering and supporting women in the workplace, which in turn requires time off for family and flexible work arrangements. Women need to start speaking up, and engaging in conversations about how important it is to have supportive relationships that can advance both careers.

Too often, we hear stories of how inspiring and competent women are forced to take career breaks to benefit their families or partners. In the long run, that does not help; it stifles financial independence and women’s empowerment. As women leaders, we must recognize the need to speak up, seize opportunities, and be positive role models in society. To do so, we need the support of our loved ones, to back us up and to encourage us to aim higher.

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