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Attitudes towards women managers in the United Arab Emirates

The effects of patriarchy, age, and sex differences
Mohamed M. Mostafa
Gulf University for Science and Technology, Hawally, Kuwait
Purpose This study aims to investigate the United Arab Emirates (UAE) societys attitudes towards women managers held by a sample of 186 participants. Design/methodology/approach The subjects completed the newly developed multidimensional aversion to women who work scale (MAWWWS). The study validates the scale in an Arab non-Western context. Findings The results reveal that UAE students have signicantly different attitudes towards women managers from those of the older generations. There are signicant differences between males and females perceptions of womens roles and participation in society. The study predicts that modernity may diminish patriarchal attitudes towards women managers in the Arab world. Originality/value This study has provided some insights into the factors associated with attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. This research contributes to the literature on cross-cultural studies by systematically assessing the attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. Keywords Culture (sociology), Attitude surveys, Gender, United Arab Emirates, Women executives Paper type Research paper

Received May 2004 Revised November 2004 Accepted November 2004

Introduction The issue of measuring attitudes towards women managers has been an important concern in the twentieth century. It became of particular importance in the Arab world when women began to enter into the labour force in record numbers. For example, in 1960, women in Arab world constituted only 12 per cent of the labour force. While in 1995 they constituted 30 per cent. In 1980 UAE women constituted 3.4 per cent of the labour force. By 1995 this gure had only risen to 13 per cent, despite the fact that the majority of university graduates are women (United Arab Emirates Yearbook, 2001). A recent study found that the female labour force in the Arab world does not exceed 20 per cent where the global participation of women in the labour market is 40 per cent and that the gure increases to 44 per cent in the industrial countries (Al-Shaikh, 2004). Attitudes towards women involve expectations directed at women (Spence and Helmreich, 1972), and these ideas are often based on negative stereotypes and broad assumptions about womens characteristics (Conway and Vartanian, 2000). Research
Journal of Managerial Psychology Vol. 20 No. 6, 2005 pp. 522-540 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0268-3946 DOI 10.1108/02683940510615451

The author would like to thank Klaitham Al-Suwaidi for her assistance in data collection. The author would also like to thank Professor James Werbel and two anonymous referees for their constructive comments.

indicates that the gender roles commonly lead to the discouragement of womens employment outside the home in non-traditional jobs (Heilman, 1997; Schreiber, 1998). Research on attitudes to womens roles showed over the last two decades or so a universal trend of increasing liberalism and acceptance of more egalitarian role denitions, especially among women (e.g. Allan and Coltran, 1996). Twenge (1997), in a meta-analysis of literature on attitudes towards women (1970-1995), suggested that mean scores of attitudes towards women were strongly, positively correlated with the year of the study. Twenge argued that this statistic suggests a trend toward more liberal attitudes towards women over the course of this period. However, Arab societies seem to be reluctant to abandon their traditional viewpoint of women primarily committed to the house and children (El-Jardawi, 1986; Abdalla, 1996; El-Rahmony, 2002; Orabi, 1999). Most Arab men consider households and domestic activities suitable for women and most Arab families educate their sons rather than their daughters on the assumption that boys are a greater economic asset than girls (El-Ghannam, 2001, 2002). Some conservative Arab societies like Saudi Arabia are completely dominated by men: women cannot go out in public without being covered from head to toe in black. They cannot drive, nor can they run a business in their own name (Gulf News, 2004). As a result of these traditional viewpoints towards women in Arab societies, Connors (1987) found that the majority of women are employed in three occupations: elementary school teacher, secretary, and nurse. In 1995, the total number of women in the labour force in Arab societies was divided up as follows: more than 40 per cent worked in social services, 21 per cent worked in industry, and 39 per cent worked in agriculture (World Bank, 1996). Arab countries scored high in Hofstedes (1980) masculinity dimension. Although little work has been done to specically examine the role of masculinity in relation to sexist attitudes, Western researchers (Archer and Rhodes, 1989; Spence, 1993) have conrmed the contribution of masculinity to sex-related attitudes, implying that these sex-related traits signicantly inuence biased sex-related attitudes. The strong emphasis in Arab culture on masculine role attributes (Dedoussis, 2004) is expected to contribute to the UAE societys traditional attitudes towards women managers. Perceptions of and attitudes towards women managers have received extensive research in the West (e.g. Dubno, 1985). Our purpose in the present study is to extend the research in this area to an Arab non-Western context where little research has been done. Research objectives It has been noted that less than 1 per cent of the 236 articles published in the ten-year period between 1990 and 1999 in a prestigious international journal focused on an Arab country in the Middle East (Robertson et al., 2001). An even more rare exception is research involving attitudes towards women managers in the Arab world (Mostafa, 2003). The present study takes a small step in attempting to ll this gap by analysing attitudes towards women managers in the UAE as we believe that gaining a systematic understanding of the issues related to women managers in this part of the world is a worthwhile objective for both intellectual and policy reasons. More specically we aim in this research to: . analyze the UAE societys attitudes and expectations towards women managers; . examine the impact of some variables such as sex and age on the attitudes towards women managers in the UAE; and

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test the validity of the recently developed multidimensional aversion to women who work scale (MAWWWS) in a non-Western culture.

This study represents one of the rst applications of the scale in the Arab world and, hence, the reliability and convergent validity of the MAWWWS will be examined.


Literature review In past years, numerous studies on the attitudes towards women managers have been conducted in the West. For example, according to Mott (1998, p. 26):
. . . women of all ages remain under-represented in skilled career elds due to misconception regarding gender-specic abilities and preferences and under-valuation of womens skills.

There is sometimes a reluctance to hire women in key managerial positions (Eyring and Stead, 1998), so female leaders are consequently given job assignments with lower visibility and fewer chances to make important contacts (Ohlott et al., 1994). Women also tend to earn signicantly less compared with men in equivalent occupations, they frequently nd high-level promotions difcult, and they experience barriers when seeking mentors (Anderson and Tomaskovic-Devy, 1995; Bhatnagar and Swamy, 1995; Browne, 1997; Pfeffer and Ross, 1990; Kirchmeyer, 2002). Some studies even show a distinct preference for male direction among subordinates (Cann and Siegfried, 1987; Jeanguart-Barone and Sekaran, 1994), and this fondness translates into higher ratings for male managers (McGlashan et al., 1995) and increased trust (Jeanguart-Barone and Sekaran, 1994). Women sometimes doubt their own abilities and skills (Hammick and Acker, 1998; Maccoby and Jacklin, 1974; Talmud and Izraeli, 1999), suggesting that stereotypes may be prevalent among both men and women. In an Arab non-Western context, the inuence of exposure to Western culture on attitudes towards women in the workforce was examined in a sample of Libyan college students living in the USA (Abdalla and Gibson, 1984). No relationship was found between the amount of time spent in this country and attitudes towards working women, but females expressed more modern attitudes than males. Abd El-Latif (1988) studied the Egyptian societys attitudes towards working women. The study found a negative attitude towards women managers and women in top managerial and leadership positions. The study also found that women occupy only 11 per cent of the top managerial positions in Egyptian organizations. Askar and Ahmad (2003) studied factors determining attitudes towards women occupying supervisory positions at various organizations in Kuwait perceived by a sample of 278 participants. The results of the study indicate a relatively positive attitude towards women managers. Sex of the participant was found to be statistically signicant in determining attitudes towards women managers with female more supportive to women in supervisory positions. Mensch et al. (2003) found evidence of extremely strong traditional attitudes about gender roles among Egyptian boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 19. Gender socialization was found to be extremely patriarchal and strongly supportive of traditional family values, with a particular emphasis on womens primacy in the domestic sphere. Mostafa (2003) investigated the Egyptian societys attitudes towards women who work held by a sample of 217 participants. The results of the study reveal that,

contrary to our expectations, Egyptian students have very similar attitudes towards women who work to those of the older generations. There are also signicant differences between males and females perceptions towards womens roles and participation in society. Finally, the study predicted that modernity may diminish patriarchal attitudes towards women in Arab societies. From this brief literature review we nd that while there is a large amount of research in this area in the West and other parts of the world (e.g. Steinhoff and Tanaka, 1987; Adeyemi-Bello and Tomkiewicz, 1996; Sakalli-Ugurlu and Beydogan, 2002), little research has been conducted to assess the attitudes towards women managers in the Arab world and the UAE is no exception. The paucity of research on attitudes towards women managers in the UAE can be ascribed, among other things, to the relatively late entry into the labour force in qualitative and quantitative terms. This lack of academic attention to attitudes towards women managers in the UAE may also be attributed to the prevailing assumption that work life is less central to women than to men (Kaufman and Fetters, 1980) and that men are usually perceived as the primary breadwinners in the Arab world (Kasl and Cobb, 1979; Tary, 1983). The current study lls the gap and tries to examine the validity of a recently developed multi-dimensional aversion to women who work scale (MAWWWS) in an Arab non-Western context. Hypotheses development H1. The UAE participants will report traditional attitudes towards women managers as expressed by higher scores on both the employment skepticism and the traditional roles preference dimensions of the MAWWWS. This hypothesis is in line with the ndings of cross-cultural research which showed that sex-role is intimately related to broader cultural and social structures (Maneef, 1990; Vega, 1990; Nisan, 1987; Almaney, 1981). This hypothesis is also consistent with previous studies that have shown that the Arab culture, including the sub-culture of Arabs living in Israel, is a traditional and collectivistic culture (Bierenbaur, 1992; Mikulincer et al., 1993). Arab culture is also characterized as a patriarchal culture (Barakat, 1985, 1993; Segal et al., 1990; Sharabi, 2002). Patriarchy refers to mens structural control over political, legal, economic, and religious institutions (Glick and Fiske, 1997). According to Johnson (1995), the product of patriarchal traditions of mens right to control their women can be called patriarchal terrorism, which involves the systematic use of economic subordination, threats, and other control tactics. Recently, The Economist (2001) concluded that in the Arab world, including the UAE, the patriarchal family is the strongest state institution. It is argued that this patriarchal culture prevailing in Arab societies has even affected the way Arab literary critics read Arab literature produced by women (Mahadin, 2002). It is safe, then, to assume that patriarchal power relations prevailing in Arab societies (Dobash and Dobash, 1992; Haj-Yahia, 2000) will reect traditional value regarding relations between the sexes and attitudes towards women managers. H2. For the two samples under study, younger UAE generations (students) will report more liberal attitudes towards women managers than older generations.

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This hypothesis is in line with ndings of previous research conducted to study the factors inuencing expectations towards women. Slevin and Wingrove (1983) investigated the similarities and differences among three generations of women in attitudes towards the female role in contemporary society using the abbreviated 25-item AWS. Not surprisingly, the younger generation, 103 college undergraduates, were more liberal than the older generations. Shalani (1988) found in his study in India that age is an important factor in changing attitudes from traditional to modern. Modernization theory argues that increases in urbanization, education, and womens involvement in the workforce lead to increasingly similar roles for men and women an hence a favourable attitude towards women. In addition, modernity encourages society to reconsider traditional gender roles, family responsibilities, marriage customs, and womens access to education and labour market participation (Mari, 1983). Evidence that Arab culture is submitting to modernization is substantiated in a number of studies. Shadid and Seltzer (1989) conducted a study among 1,018 Muslim students at three universities in the West Bank and 1,044 non-students in the West Bank. They found that important decisions were more likely to be made by men only in families of students than in families of non-students (53 per cent versus 35 per cent), and that students were more likely to choose their own spouse than allow their parents to make that decision, ndings that indicate less traditional roles for those couples who benet from more education. Al-Aysa (1981) found in her study about the values of marriage among Qataris that modern marriage is more liberal in terms of mate selection and individuality compared with traditional arranged marriage. In another study conducted also in Qatar, Al-Hosayni and Al-Aysa (1981) found that the Qatari husbands and wives role has changed because of the proliferation of education and work opportunities. The study emphasized the important role played by modernization factors such as urbanization, mass communication in this change. In a study examining the effect of modernization on the family structure in Kuwait, Al-Thakeb (1985) found that modernization plays a signicant role in spousal selection and in changing attitudes in general. Amin (1993) found that the Bahrani family pattern since the discovery of oil has shifted from the extended and traditional family to the nuclear and modern family. Alwraikat and Simadi (2001) in a study to examine the relationship between some socio-demographic factors and modernity in Jordan and the UAE, found that that the two Arab countries are submitting to modernity. H3. On average, women in the UAE will have more positive general attitudes towards women managers than will men. This hypothesis is consistent with previous research which universally showed that men had less egalitarian attitudes towards women than women (e.g. Diwan and Menezes, 1992) and with previous research which showed that men are less pro-feminist in their attitudes than are women (Misra and Panigrahi, 1996; McKinney, 1987). It is also consistent with Haworth et al.s (1986) ndings that women have more liberal attitudes towards womens role in society than their male counterparts. Several researchers compared the attitudes toward women from a cultural perspective. Damji and Lee (1995) examined the gender role identity and perceptions of appropriate gender roles so as to gain a better understanding of Canadian Ismaili

Muslim beliefs. Although the comparison of Muslim men and women is deemed to be complex, the women in this sample tended to resemble other women in demonstrating a more feminine identity and a more liberal outlook toward gender roles than the men. In another study, Chia et al. (1997, p. 29) concluded that:
. . .in both Chinese and American societies, female college students expressed a preference for more equal and liberalized attitudes towards women and sex roles in general.

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Parveens (2001) study aimed to investigate the inuence of age and sex attitudes towards working women and modernity values in Bangladesh. A total of 100 males and females were selected and interviewed, aged from 20-45 years. The inuence of sex was observed in the case of attitudes towards working women but not in the case of values. To explore the Kuwaiti womens image among university students, Khalifa (1997) in a study including 280 male and 300 female undergraduates found that males scored signicantly higher than females on the negative aspect of a 90-item stereotypes scale, while females scored signicantly higher than males on the positive aspect of the scale. Based on the results of the extensive research reviewed above, it is, then, safe to assume that the UAE men will report more traditional attitudes towards women managers compared with women. Method Sample Subjects in this study were 186 participants. Of these, 92 students from the Faculty of Business Administration at the Ajman University of Science & Technology in the UAE participated in the study. The other 94 participants were selected randomly among older generations (45-plus) for purpose of testing one of the research hypotheses. Although the extent to which student subjects represent the general population of the young generation can be debated (Greenberg, 1987; Gordon et al. 1987), the use of students has been commonplace and widely accepted in empirical research about attitudes towards women managers (Abdalla, 1996; Ng, 1995). Student questionnaires were distributed during classes and collected from participants immediately on completion. The survey administrator remained present for the duration of the survey. Distribution of these surveys resulted in a convenience sample of 92 usable responses. Around half of the participants were women (57 per cent). Almost 23 per cent of the student participants were seniors, 22 per cent were juniors, 26 per cent were sophomores, and 29 per cent were freshmen. Collecting data by mail surveys in the Arab world has been very difcult (Harzing, 1997; Nasif et al., 1991). In order to ensure an acceptable number of responses, contacts were made with ten organizations to secure their cooperation in collecting data from their employees. Of these rms, seven agreed to distribute the survey instrument. A total of 200 questionnaires were distributed to employees in these organizations. Condentiality of responses was emphasized in the cover letter with the title condential survey and in the text. To reduce social desirability artifacts, the cover letter indicated that the survey seeks attitudes towards women managers in the UAE and nothing else. Respondents were also given the opportunity to request an individualized report. In total, 113 responses were received by the cut-off date, but 19 questionnaires were discarded because the respondents failed to complete the

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MAWWWS scale appropriately. The effective sample size, thus, was 94 with a response rate of 47 per cent. The characteristics of the sample are presented in Table I. Measures A number of scales have been developed over the last several decades that measure various gender role attitudes and behaviors. Spence and Helmreich (1972) developed the widely used attitudes towards women scale (AWS), which measures beliefs about women in various educational, employment, and social roles. Dubno et al. (1979) developed the popular managerial attitudes toward female executives scale (MATFES), which assesses the degree to which women are accepted in corporate managerial roles. Similarly, the women as managers scale (WAMS) was developed by Peters et al. (1974) to measure attitudes about women in leadership roles, and the scale is composed of items that tap both stereotypical and managerial traits (Terborg et al., 1977). Swim et al. (1995) developed a modern sexism scale that assesses discrimination, antagonism, and resentment associated with womens employment, and Yoder and McDonald (1997) provided some support for the scales psychometric properties. Despite the proliferation of these instruments, many of them have various limitations and shortcomings. According to Henley et al. (1998, p. 318), even though there have been widespread development and use of such scales, there has been some dissatisfaction with them among researcher. Some scales do not adequately assess contemporary gender issues (Henley et al., 1998; McHugh and Frieze, 1997), whereas others do not adequately discriminate between various gender phenomena and are too general and overly long (Henley et al., 1998; Spence and Buckner, 2000). For instance, Liss et al. (2000, p. 279) claimed that the AWS is . . . no longer viewed as a measure of feminism and it is considered an outdated measure of attitudes toward womens roles. Recently, Valentine and Mosley (1998) constructed a single dimension scale that assesses aversion to women who work (AWWWS) with ve items from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which is a widely used secondary data source that has been compiled since 1979. Later on the original ve-item scale was rened and validated (Valentine, 2001) by adding items that survey an employment skepticism component. We use the ten-item new version of the MAWWWS in this study as this may mitigate several of the concerns with previously developed scales.
Variable Students Male Female Non-students Male Female Student level Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Frequency 92 40 52 94 49 45 26 25 20 21 Valid (%) 100 43 57 100 52 48 29 26 22 23


Table I. Characteristics of the sample

Procedure The Arabic version of the MAWWWS was created through careful translation and back-translation techniques (Candell and Hulin, 1987; Thomas and Weigert, 1972). First, the author translated the ten-item MAWWWS into Arabic. Then, these Arabic items were back-translated into English by a bilingual expert to make sure that the original content was kept in translation to decrease discrepancies between the English and the Arabic measurements. No individual items were problematic in translation. In translating the scale items into Arabic, the author followed Malinowskis (1935) technique of translation, which involves four steps: (1) an interlinear, or word-by-word, translation; (2) a free translation in which clarifying terms, conjunction, etc. are added and the words reinterpreted; (3) an analysis and collation of the two translations; leading to (4) a contextual specication of meaning. However, it should be admitted that complete semantic equivalence in cross- cultural studies is a statistical ction (Phillips, 1959). Results Validity and reliability One of the objectives of this research was to test the validity and reliability of the MAWWWS in a non-Western context. A thorough reliability and validity analysis of measurement instruments in empirical research is essential for several reasons. First, it provides condence that the empirical ndings accurately reect the proposed constructs. Second, empirically-validated scales can be used directly in other studies in the eld for different populations and for longitudinal studies (Flynn et al., 1994). The MAWWWS scale was factor-analyzed by principal component analysis. In factor analysis, a rotation procedure is commonly applied which maximizes the correlations of each item on a factor (Comrey and Lee, 1991). The MAWWWS construct comprises many interrelated items and, therefore, oblique rotation was applied as the rotation procedure. Advocates of oblique rotation assert that in the real world important factors are likely to be correlated; thus searching for unrelated factors is unrealistic (Dixon, 1993). The results highlighted a two-factor solution with 62.85 per cent of the variance explained (see Table II). The pattern matrix indicated that all of the item loadings for each factor were above 0.56. The eigenvalue for the rst factor (employment skepticism) was 4.45, and this factor explained 44.5 per cent of the variance, whereas the second factor (traditional values preference) explained 18.35 per cent of the variance and had an eigenvalue of 1.835. The Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy was used to measure the adequacy of the sample for extraction of the two factors. The KMO value found (0.785) is generally considered acceptable (Kim and Mueller, 1978). The Bartlett test of sphericity was used to test the multivariate normality of the set of distributions. This procedure also tests whether the correlation matrix is an identity matrix (factor analysis would be meaningless with an identity matrix). A signicance value of p , 0:05 indicates that the data do not produce an identity matrix or differ signicantly from identity (George and Mallery, 2000). The analysis focusing on the

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Q10 Q8 Q9 Q7 Q6 Q4 Q2 Q3 Q1 Q5 Factor 1 2

Rotated factor matrix Factor 1 0.899 0.843 0.709 20.684 0.658 0.891 2 0.765 0.691 0.653 0.634 % of var. 44.500 18.355 Factor 2


Table II. Factor analysis results

Eigenvalue 4.450 1.835

Cum. % 44.500 62.855

Note: a Text of the questions may be found in the Appendix

sphericity of the distribution (Bartletts sphericity test) allowed us to reject the hypothesis according to which the matrix would be unitary (Chi square 950:558, df 45, p , 0:001). This result implies that the data are thus approximately multivariate normal and acceptable for factor analysis. To further test the convergent validity of the newly constructed scale, participants also completed the Women as Managers Scale (WAMS). A statistically signicant correlation was found between the total scores of the WAMS and the MAWWWS (r 0:87, p , 0:001), suggesting that the MAWWWS is able to measure constructs similar to those measured by the WAMS. Using SPSS, an internal consistency analysis was performed to assess the reliability aspect of the MAWWWS instrument. Reliability refers to the instruments ability to provide consistent results in repeated uses (Gatewood and Field, 1990). Coefcient (Cronbachs) alpha is the basic measure for reliability (Green et al., 2000). The items in each factor were grouped into two scales, and coefcient alpha was calculated for each group. The ten-item MAWWWS had an acceptable coefcient alpha (a 0:85), and both traditional roles preferences and employment skepticism also had acceptable reliability scores (a 0:70 and a 0:81 respectively). Nunnally (1978) suggested that, in exploratory research such as this, an alpha value of 0.6 is sufcient. The alpha values found for each scale indicated, therefore, that each factor is a sufciently reliable measure. Based on the statistical analyses, the MAWWWS appears to be a fairly valid and reliable measure of traditional gender role attitudes and stereotypes. The most notable advantage of the scale is its length, which is comparatively shorter than many other scales of its type. The MAWWWS also exhibits sound psychometric properties unlike some other gender-related instruments (Yoder and McDonald, 1997), which provides evidence of adequate content validity and construct denition. From a conceptual standpoint, the measure also appears to be centrally positioned with regard to many gender role measures, which improves the scales efcacy. Although its conceptual underpinnings allow the MAWWWS to be used as a global gender role measure, it can also be employed to assess more specic attitudinal domains, employment skepticism, and traditional roles preference.

Traditional attitudes hypothesis The ten items on the MAWWWS scale were rated using a four-point Likert-type response format anchored by 1 (strongly disagree) and 4 (strongly agree). Low items scores indicated that the participants adopted somewhat non-traditional attitudes towards women managers. This was conrmed using the t-test procedure, which shows that the mean scores for the participants are signicantly less than the average theoretical score (t 50:04, df 185, p , 0:05). Hence, H1 cannot be accepted. This result partially corroborates previous research conducted in the Arab world (e.g. Mari, 1983), which predicted that modernity may diminish patriarchal attitudes towards women. As society evolves from agrarian to industrial, modernization theory argues that increases in urbanization, education, and womens involvement in the workforce lead to increasingly similar roles for men and women. An alternative explanation for the forces of development and urbanization is the social diffusion model (Montgomery and Casterline, 1996). This model predicts that a proportion of individuals who are exposed to new ideas through media, community contacts, or discussion with friends and neighbors will ultimately be persuaded to alter previous behavior. With regard to attitudes towards women managers, diffusion models would predict that some individuals will be motivated to bargain in favor of altered behavior in response to new ideas absorbed from their social environment (Rogers, 1962). This result shows that there exists some evidence that attitudes towards women managers in the UAE are, in general, changing towards a less traditional stance. Actually, it was predicted that:
. . . with the passing of time and especially through the effects of equal education, it is likely that tradition will have diminishing weight against the forces of modernization (Al-Dhari, 1987, p. 27).

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Generation gap hypothesis Using the t-test procedure, it was found that the total mean scores for students (M 20:4) is lower than older generations (23.2). As a generation gap is detected (t 3:29, df 184, p , 0:001), H2 is supported. This result partially corroborates Abdallas (1996) study which shows that, while a generation gap was detected between the AWS scores of mothers and their daughters, no generation gap was found between the AWS scores of fathers and sons. This result, however, contradicts Mostafas (2003) study conducted in Egypt where no generation gap was detected. One explanation may be that young people in Egypt typically live at home until they are married and remain dependent on old family members for nancial and emotional support as young adults. One implication of this arrangement is that the adolescent experience in Egypt is less likely to be characterized by rebellion or social distancing from parents than is the case in other parts of the Arab world. Gender differences hypothesis A logistic regression analysis was performed to distinguish between males and females attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. A total of 186 cases were analyzed and the full model was signicantly reliable (Chi-square 106:95, df 2, p , 0:001). The model accounted for around 58 per cent of the variance (Nagelkerke R

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square 0:583). Hosmer-Lemeshow test was used to measure the agreement between the observed outcomes and the predicted outcomes. The result obtained (Chi-square 6:78, df 8, p 0:561) indicates that the model adequately ts the data. Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic is a test of the null hypothesis that the model is good, hence a good model is indicated by a high p value (Brace et al., 2003). The current model correctly classies 73 males but misclassies 16 others (i.e. it correctly classies 82 per cent of cases). For females, the model correctly classies 89 and misclassies eight cases. The overall accuracy of classication is 87.1 per cent. Table III gives regression coefcients and the Wald statistic and associated degrees of freedom. Since the regression coefcients are negative, this implies that males are more likely than females to adopt a traditional outlook towards women managers. This result supports H3. Our ndings corroborate earlier studies in other countries (e.g. Dubno, 1985; Farmer and Waugh, 1999) that show that male participants held less positive attitudes towards women managers than did female participants perhaps because of the womens psychological identication with their own career potential. Our ndings also corroborate earlier studies that show that Arab adolescent girls express more liberal views pertaining to womens roles and position in society than male peers (Rapoport et al., 1989). These results suggest that, while Arab women are willing to accept more responsibilities in the occupational, educational, and social spheres, Arab men are not willing to share these responsibilities with them. Implications Research implications This research contributes to the literature on cross-cultural studies of gender by systematically assessing the attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. Perhaps the ndings of this research will lend increased condence to researchers who have been using the MAWWWS with reservations, or who may have avoided the instrument because of concerns about validity. Policy implications There is much misconception about the role of women and attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. The main misconception is that Arab women are not supposed to publicly participate in the political and administrative processes. Usually, this argument is presented on Islamic grounds and is based on the assumption that Islam, as a religion, restricts and limits the role of women in public affairs (Al-Lail, 1996). Educational and skilled Arab women are thus relegated to positions which are assumed to be of a non-political nature such as teaching, nursing, and lesser

Dimensions Skepticism Role pref. Table III. Logistic regression results

B 20.333 20.614

s.e. 0.110 0.111

Wald 9.193 30.722

df 1 1

Sig. 0.002 0.000

Note: Gender was coded as a dichotomous variable: 0 (male) and 1 (female). Note that a negative regression coefcient implies that non-females (i.e. males) are more traditional about that particular MAWWWS dimension

administrative jobs. As a result, there is a tendency to under-utilize human resources in national development. Globally, the past decade has seen tremendous growth in female labour force participation, at a rate of about 5 per cent or so per year. Female employment in the Arab world as also increased, but at 32 per cent it remains the lowest in the world despite the relatively young age of the female population and their educational level. It is estimated that the region is annually losing 0.7 per cent of GDP per capita by not utilizing women in the labour force (Scott, 2004). In order to compete in the highly competitive global economy of the twenty-rst century, Emirates organizations cannot afford to forgo a major managerial talent pool represented by women. Organizations with policies that hinder selection and promotion of women in management will greatly reduce utilization of valuable personnel. Preconceived gender stereotyping would be detrimental to organizations that underutilize this readily available pool of women managerial talent. To grow and prosper, Emirates organizations need the active involvement of all employees, both men and women. Limitations and future research The results of the present study should be viewed with caution because of the limited generalisability of the studies involving college student participants. It is possible that gender role perceptions are more conservative and traditional in other areas of the country; the MAWWWS may be less valid in some regions than in others. This should be kept in mind when viewing the results of the present study, and may be a direction for future research. The present results suggest that the need for validation of the MAWWWS should not end with this study, but should continue to be investigated as the gender role perceptions in the UAE society change over time. Several different forms of validity can serve as criteria for assessing the psychometric soundness of a scale (Grapentine, 1995). In this research we performed only one form: convergent-validity analysis. This form of validity pertains to the extent to which scale items assumed to represent a construct do in fact converge on the same construct. Future researchers using the MAWWWS may test the scales discriminate validity or predictive/concurrent validity. Discriminate-validity analysis shows the extent a scale is new and not just a reection of other variables. The predictive or concurrent facet of validity refers to the extent to which scale scores are associated as hypothesized with other conceptually related measures. This study was conducted in the UAE, so some caution should be exercised in generalizing its results to other Arab societies. However, Muna (1980) suggests that Arab societies (moderate and traditional) have an inner similarity and share certain values despite the obvious differences in the economic attainment of their members. It should also be noted that Hofsteds (1980) seminal work on cultural values around the world detected no signicant differences among the Arab countries studied; therefore, they were placed into a category titled Arab countries, which include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates. Future research should also investigate hypotheses that derive from the traditional gender role- stereotyping present in the Arab culture. Foe example, future researchers may study the relationship between masculinity and hostile sexism in the Arab world.

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Summary and conclusions The goal of this study was to explore the attitudes towards women managers in the UAE. The sample for the present study consisted of 186 participants. The data of the study were collected by a ten-item recently developed multidimensional aversion to women who work scale (MAWWWS), validating the scale in an Arab non-Western context. From the research ndings we can conclude that there exists a moderate change from expected restrictive traditional attitudes towards women managers in the UAE to a more liberal view. However, a considerable gender gap in attitudes towards women managers persists even when other factors held constant, with females consistently more supportive than males. This nding suggests that males should not be overlooked in modernization and equal opportunity programs in the UAE. Despite the liberal view reected by participants in this study, the results of the research should by no means be interpreted as the UAE moving away rapidly from a patriarchal and traditional society, Emirates society is generally regarded as highly patriarchal, with clear-cut gender role differences. The institutions of marriage and the family are highly patriarchal (Ramzy, 2002). Men are the dominant sex, and are expected to have control of the home. The husband is culturally accepted as the ruler of the family and is regarded as the formal authority to whom the wife and children must ultimately respond. The husbands role is authoritarian, and he assumes responsibility for maintaining the family structure by whatever means he feels justied. In short, The UAEs society still generally value patriarchy. As expected, our results showed that students held more favourable attitudes toward women managers in the UAE than were older generations. The result was consistent with a recently published opinion poll which showed that 73 per cent of the student participants believe that older generations in the UAE are very traditional and conservative, while only 20 per cent think that they are open-minded and modern (Al-Khaleej, 2003).
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Traditional roles preference (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) Traditional husband/wife roles are the best. Women are happier in traditional roles. A womans place is in the home. An employed wife leads to juvenile delinquency. Women with families do not have time for other employment.

Note: Items are rated on a four-point scale: 1 (strongly disagree), 2 (disagree), 3 (agree), 4 (strongly agree).