The Strategic Role of Human Resource Managers in Achieving Gender Equality in Employment in Saudi Arabia

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NORAH IBRAHIM ALSALHI
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Saudi Digital Library
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Saudi Arabia has begun a series of significant changes aimed at accelerating the modernisation of their economic and social systems, including those targeted at strengthening the roles of women within the economy and society. This study examines the role of human resource managers in achieving gender equality in employment in Saudi Arabia, relying on secondary research to obtain information. Institutional theory is applied to discover the factors which influence human resource management practises in Saudi Arabia, the varied rates of development in the pillars (cognitive-cultural, normative, and Regulatory). From the research, it was found that the rate of development at the cultural-cognitive and normative levels is slower than the rate of change at the regulatory level. This means that change is occurring at a fast pace in Saudi Arabia for the laws and regulations but not for the culture,which puts human resource managers in a difficult situation as they are forced to develop a strategy which accounts for all these factors. In addition, as there are no previous studies on the strategic role of human resource managers regarding gender equality in employment in Saudi Arabia, the model by Ulrich (1997) is selected. This model helps managers and policymakers understand and determine how and to what degree human resource managers are involved in achieving gender equality by measuring the four roles of the human resource managers that the model provide (Ulrich, 1997). Finally, we provided many suggestions, such as implementing Ulrich’s model (1997) by using a survey to determine how and to what degree human resource managers practise the four roles of a human resources manager. Secondly, to achieve gender equality in employment, the human resource manager must adopt several practises to increase the number of women and attract them to the work environment in the organisation. To do so, the organisation must provide more flexibility and support during pregnancy and provide them with training courses to manage their extreme workloads.
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