Over 36% of companies in the country either never or sometimes don't actively promote female nationals.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

Qatari women are often not a priority in Qatarization strategies, according to a report by Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC).

Over 36% of companies in the country either never or sometimes don’t actively promote female nationals as part of their strategy, the survey showed. This is despite Qatari women representing about half of the national workforce, or 91,000 working age individuals.

Government and semi-government organizations were also significantly more likely (79%) than private sector businesses (25%) to always actively promote female nationals.

The survey found that 11% of senior business leaders in Qatar never promoted female citizens. Over 25% stated that they only sometimes promote female nationals.

Smaller organizations are less likely than larger peers to promote Qatari women, according to the survey. Businesses develop better talent seeking methods to improve their Qatarization schemes, with 47% found to rarely undertake activities to identify talent early.

Likewise, 50% rarely offered careers advice to nationals at schools and colleges. Close to 45% of Qatari women do not hear about jobs as a significant difficulty when seeking employment.

Qatarization programs at companies are also found in need of improvement with just 33% of firms surveyed stating they always maximize development and involvement of national talent.

“Organizations need to ensure that Qatari women can achieve levels of seniority by reaching C-Suite roles and board memberships,” OSC said.

The companies should build efficient talent pipelines by reaching out to female nationals often and early in addition to ensuring ample development opportunities for new entrants to the workforce, it said.  

According to Global Gender Gap Report 2016 by The World Economic Forum (WEF), while the status of women improved a lot in Gulf nations improved going by several parameters, they remained in the bottom half of the table globally when it comes to gender equality.

The study saw the Middle East and North Africa region close its overall gender gap by more than 60%. However, the region continued to rank last globally in the overall index.

Among Gulf countries, Qatar and the UAE pipped others to emerge at the top, having each closed approximately 64% of their gender gap, according to the WEF.

Qatar got a ranking of 119th after narrowing its labor participation gender gap this year. The UAE came second at 124th after taking steps to improve wage equality.

It also narrowed gender gap on the educational attainment sub-index. Kuwait ranked 128th as it saw progress on women’s labor force participation.

Overall, Gulf countries stood at the bottom of the high-income table when states were split based on average income.