Employers Perspectives of Working Women in Oman Academic Essay

IntroductionFamily-Friendly Policies (FFPs) aim to help employees manage their familyresponsibilities (Albrecht, 2003). These policies create flexible work conditions and enable1 Shweta Belwal, PhD (shweta.belwal@gmail.com) is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Business of SoharUniversity, Oman. She has also taught in different Business programs at Kumaun University, India; Addis AbabaUniversity and Mekelle University in Ethiopia; and Sohar University in Oman. Her main research interests are in thearea of human resource management. She has participated globally in academic conferences and has won a numberof research grants.2 Rakesh Belwal, PhD (rbelwal@soharuni.edu.com) is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business of SoharUniversity, Oman. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the UQ Business School of University of Queensland,Australia. He has wide experience of teaching at different universities in India, Ethiopia and Oman. His mainresearch interests are in the areas of service marketing, e-governance and retailing. He has published a number ofresearch papers in journals and has won a number of competitive research grants.97Journal of International Womens Studies Vol. 15, No. 1 January 2014women to perform better on both domestic and work fronts (Subramaniam and Selvaratnam,2010; Beham and Drobnic, 2010), thereby increasing the quality of work life (QWL). Hence,FFPs are beneficial to both employees and their companies (Porter and Ayman, 2010: 28-32).Women in Oman have started serving the workforce in large numbers and managing theirwork and family simultaneously. This trend is expected to continue in the future as more andmore women register in the higher educational or vocational institutions within the country.Currently, women comprise 55% of the total work force in Oman (MONE, 2010) and contributesignificantly in education, health, media, banking and other business sectors (Khanduri, 2007).Oman is now at the forefront of integrating women into all facets of society (Buzella, 2010) andis witnessing a sea change in its workforce composition.According to Al-Shaibany (2011a), Twenty-five years earlier, there were only about8,000 working mothers in the private and government sectors taken together in Oman, comparedto 32,000 now. Out of 1.25 million people working in various industries in Oman, over 35 percent are women, and the gap indicating the composition of males and females, according to boththe civil service and manpower ministries statistics, is narrowing down each year(Omaninfo.com, 2010). Furthermore, graduate statistics of universities indicate an increasingtrend for the number of women pass-outs (approximately 70% on an average) in comparison tomales.These facts are indicative of the future workforce of Oman where women will have alarger role to play. However, this increase in the participation of women in the workforce willimpose additional challenges on the QWL front and will demand some special considerationssuch as FFPs (Belwal et al, 2012). FFPs and QWL issues are, therefore, expected to dominate thefuture governmental and organizational agenda. Following a review of relevant literature anddiscussions held with the top-level managers of select business organizations, this paper studiesthe FFPs and QWL-related issues that demand a timely attention in Oman. The major aim of thisstudy is: (i) to investigate the nature of FFPs that employers in the public, private andgovernment sectors practice in Oman, and (ii) to assess managers perception of QWL-relatedissues prevailing in Oman.The Situation of Women in OmanThe discrepancy between genders is inherent in the Omani codifications of male andfemale identities, where the PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT

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