(MENAFN - Arab News) A majority of Saudi women likes to work in cosmetic stores, according to a study released yesterday in Riyadh.
The survey was conducted by Active Leaders for Women's Advancement in the Near East (ALWANE), a recently established project committed to the advancement of women's leadership across 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The survey, carried out in partnership with Saudi women job portal Glowork; international fashion brand Harvey Nichols, Riyadh; and consulting firm KPMG, highlighted the public's overall perception of the retail.
As to the type of stores women prefer to work in, the study revealed that 37 percent responded they would work in cosmetic stores, 33 percent prefer working in clothes stores, followed by 14 percent in lingerie shops. A total of 16 percent highlighted that they would be interested in working in either optical stores or furniture departments.
Almost one-third of the respondents from across the Kingdom highlighted lack of awareness of what the retail sector actually is as a main concern in working in this sector.
The survey also asked participants to share their knowledge about the retail sector. Forty-two percent responded that they had little knowledge of what retail work means.
Respondents mentioned there are not any success stories in the region, let alone the country, to understand the sort of career path they would be undertaking, and the perception of the retail industry must change. A quarter said family pressure and acceptance is what holds them back from working in the retail industry, and only 5 percent mentioned that transportation was an issue in accepting a retail job.
When participants were asked what would be the best option in encouraging women to work in the retail sector, 35 percent of participants recommended an awareness campaign to portray success stories and the benefits of working in the retail sector. One-third recommended that laws and legislations are clear to the public and employers regarding work in the sector. Nineteen percent responded that the choice of working hours (one shift) or part time roles should be adapted.
The survey, which interviewed numerous human resource managers, concluded that an awareness campaign should be launched to thank those who chose the path to the retail sector and highlight the success stories that happened during the past year.
Speaking to Arab News, Khalid Alkhudair, ALWANE country officer and Glowork founder, said: "There are a lot of good stories on the ground. L'Oreal, for instance, sends all its new joiners to Italy for a two-week intensive training, and their employees' salaries start at SR 5,000, which offers women a challenging ground to work on."
Glowork.net is the first website dedicated to women empowerment in the Middle East. Within a short period of time from its inception, the website has over 180 companies registered and had advertised over 3,600 vacancies for women throughout the Kingdom.
It is based in Riyadh and founded by young Saudis such as Alkhudair.
ALWANE is a coalition that includes men and women academics, activists, experts, entrepreneurs and youth committed to social change and gender equality.
The coalition aims to generate discourse around pressing challenges to women's full participation in society, as well as share intraregional success stories. By working together, they aim to raise awareness, create a platform for dialogue, advocate for change, and influence national, regional and international policies to effect women's participation in society.