x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

How to keep Emirati staff

If the Government makes working hours easier and maternity leave longer, local women will stay in their jobs, says human resources head.

Multinational companies must adapt to local sensitivities if they want to retain Emirati female employees, a human resource executive said this week.

If the Government makes working hours easier and maternity leave longer, local women will stay in their jobs, said Akif Tashkandi, the head of the human resources department at Boeing International.

"In this culture woman are expected to take care of the family, so eventually they will be forced to leave" if they are not accommodated, Mr Tashkandi said in a speech at the 8th Emiratisation Congress in Dubai.

Even though 84 per cent of university graduates are women, the unemployment rate for women is higher than for men.

Mr Tashkandi said it was harder for Arab women to search for jobs than for men, due to cultural restrictions.

"Organisations need to actively find them through career fairs and reach out to them," he said.

It costs 12 times more to recruit a person than to retain a person, because of factors including advertising, time, resources and interviews, Mr Tashkandi said.

"It's best to retain the ones you have," he said.

* Marie-Louise Olson