Women in Leadership Positions: The Road to Success. A Case Study in the UAE
in 2013, The United Arab Emirates was the only Arab Gulf country listed in the industry report by Grant Thornton
of top 10 countries for women in leadership senior positions. The aim of this paper is to explore and study the social, cultural,
mentoring factors that leads to women’s success in business in United Arab Emirates from their perspective. The study will
employ two methods: one, an inductive approach using an in-depth qualitative open-ended interview, based on the
contingency leadership theory and the leadership style model. The interviews will focus on the social/networking, cultural,
training and economic factors themes in the environment, (gender issues will be included in both the cultural and social
factors, religion role will be included in the cultural factors). Second, an interpretive approach to extract codes and meanings
from the data collected, adapting an empathetic stance to understand women leader’s success factors, and how they define it.
The results of this study will indicate the main factors contributing to women leader’s success: social status, cultural factors,
struggle and difficulties from women leaders’ point of view. This will be a pilot study for further in-depth quantitative
research in UAE and other GCC countries. The paper is considered one of the first to discuss the factors of success of women
leaders in United Arab Emirates, rather than studying the factors of empowering women.
Index Terms - Women, leadership, UAE, GCC, Business.