This is a Very Male Job: Challenges Encountered by Females During Recruitment and Hiring for Engineering Jobs in Qatar Conference Paper uri icon


  • Although attracting women to STEM has been a concern in Western countries, female students across the Arab world are dominating most STEM educational programs. Engineering programs in countries like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan have more than double the U.S. national average of female students. At an American international branch campus offering engineering degrees in Qatar, females now make up approximately 51% percent of the student population. Despite a high number of female STEM graduates in countries like Qatar though, this does not always translate to representation and job satisfaction upon entering the workplace. Given Qatars significant focus on enhancing the role of women in the workplace and working on policies toward the empowerment of women, our exploratory research study examines how attractive the engineering profession is for women in Qatar. The current paper focuses specifically on challenges that women face during the very first step in their careersthe recruitment and hiring process. The paper employs a multi-method approach, gathering and analyzing data obtained via a survey and interviews with engineering program alumnae who graduated from 2009 to 2020 in Qatar. When examining the challenges female participants faced during the recruitment and hiring process for engineering jobs in Qatar, the findings revealed that many women did not feel particularly welcomed while trying to obtain a job. Many faced personal/discriminatory interview questions, biases, and assumptions about what they could or could not do, in addition to being subjected to explicit discouragement and gender discrimination. The paper offers recommendations for addressing these issues as well as further areas of research to pursue. By bringing to light the issues surrounding females entering engineering professions in Qatar, this study offers a contribution to womens role and empowerment in the region.

name of conference

  • 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

published proceedings

  • 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Amani, S., Youssef, E., Alagha, R., Hillman, S., & Ruimi, A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Amani, Sara||Youssef, Ebtihal||Alagha, Rand||Hillman, Sara||Ruimi, Annie

publication date

  • July 2021