Gender Differences of Perceived Leadership Skills Among Saudi Students

Gender Differences of Perceived Leadership Skills Among Saudi Students

The aim of this study is to examine female participation in Saudi labor market as leaders. The leadership skills with which students in Saudi universities and colleges can how educational institutions make their students career ready. However, considering the low female participation in the Saudi labor market, exploring the gender differences in leadership skills is equally crucial as the leadership skills acquired in higher education institution can significantly influence employment opportunities. In addition, the gender differences in perceived leadership skills is the fact that the social roles assigned to women in Saudi society bear great significance on how they perceive their skills, which will be discussed further in the discussion portion of this paper.

 

The Middle East has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. The realities of youth unemployment in this region have been a concern for governments, policy makers, and scholars. As of 2010, one in every four youth in the region was unemployed (International Labor Organization [ILO], 2011). The problem that faces the region is not only the high unemployment rates but also low labor force participation rates, resulting in very low employment-to-population ratios. According to the ILO’s (2011) report on global unemployment trends, the Middle East employment-to-population ratio was 45.4% in 2010, meaning that less than half of the working-age populations actually are employed. However, in Saudi Arabia, the working population-to-population ratio stands at 31.2%, much lower than the regional average (Central Department of Statistics and Information, 2012). That makes the situation more adverse in the Kingdom. Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been witnessing a steady growth of involvement of Saudi youth in the job market, the youth unemployment rate remained at 30.2% in 2009— three times the national unemployment rate in the kingdom (ILO, 2011). A number of factors contribute to the youth employment situation and their participation in the labor force. The literature has suggested that the Middle East region has witnessed an increase in youth population, creating a youth bulge, consequently contributing to the increase in youth unemployment (Roudi, 2011). In addition, female participation in the labor market remains particularly low at 15% (ILO, 2011). See full publication

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