The purpose of this study is to investigate the current status and the challenges of Bahraini women in the financial and banking sector; this sector is in continuous growth and needs to invest in human resources properly to attract talents. To enhance women’s access to senior positions in this sector, it must acknowledge the factors that influence women leadership, where the significance of this study stands out. The study presents how different factors affect the mainstreaming of women progressing to the top-level management. The study followed both quantitative and qualitative methods in data collection, and three different types of survey have been used in the study. The first questionnaire was directed towards Bahraini working women, the second questionnaire was directed towards Bahraini women who have left the sector, and these two questionnaires contained implicit references to the factors of the study. The third questionnaire was directed towards the human resource managers in the financial and banking sector. The total number of Bahraini employees in this sector is 14,675, with about 37% Bahraini women, which represents 25% of the total workforce (Bahrainis and expatriates). The results illustrated that approximately 8% of women reached the Board of Directors and 4.5% of Bahraini women among the Bahraini workforce attained the position of CEO. According to the findings of the study, the most significant factor affecting Bahraini women in the workplace was “the need for women in leadership positions”. The factor with the lowest response was “fringe benefits”. In contrast, the factor relating to “family concerns affecting women” was less significant. Recommendations were made to guide every women on workforce participation and the decision-makers to try remove all or some of the barriers that might hinder women from reaching those positions, aiming to provide women equal access opportunities to leadership positions in the this essential sectors and other sectors in the future.

Author Biography

Adel Ismail Al-Alawi, Associate Professor University of Bahrain, College of Business Administration, Department of Management and Marketing.