RIYADH: Female entrepreneurship in the UAE grew 68 percent as the pandemic struck, according to newly released LinkedIn data.
The number of women starting their own businesses outstripped the increase in male entrepreneurship in 2020 — which also rose 46 percent.
LinkedIn’s data — published in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report — suggested the rise was driven by economic headwinds and inequitable workplaces during the pandemic.
Women entrepreneurship rose 54 percent in the educational sector, followed by wellness and fitness at 50 percent, and healthcare by 44 percent.
Sue Duke, head of Global Public Policy at LinkedIn, said: “Given the economic and workplace turmoil of the past few years, women have sought to take control of their careers and set up their own businesses.
“While some women were pursuing their passions or seeking out greater flexibility, many women became ‘necessity entrepreneurs’, due to a need for income or because of a lack of opportunities at work.”
According to the report, women’s careers faced several challenges as COVID-19 swept the globe, and it compelled them to seek greater flexibility than they were offered by their employers.
The pandemic also created new business opportunities, as most of the industries started operating digitally, which in turn helped to reduce some start-up costs which involve the non-necessity of a physical office.
The LinkedIn data also added that men are 23 percent more likely to get internal promotions for leadership roles than women in the UAE.
Globally, men are 33 percent more likely to be promoted internally.
The Global Gender Gap Report added that targeted action should be taken to make workplaces and societies more equal.