BEIRUT: As graduation season approaches, seniors find themselves preparing to hit the road and to start a new chapter in their lives.
“I am very excited to graduate because I can finally work in a domain I love,” Rawan Al Sheikh, a senior communication student at the Lebanese American University, told Annahar. “I am currently planning to continue my masters abroad, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Jana Shokor, a senior psychology student at the American University of Beirut, added that graduation has always been perceived as a far-fetched goal.
“But, we are so close to graduating and the next thing you know, you have to start making your own living,” Shokor said.
Entering the labor market has always been a challenge to all fresh graduates, regardless of gender. These women graduates, however, are taking this challenge to a whole new level.
“Lately, I’ve been noticing that people, whether clients or colleagues, are putting more trust in women graduates,” Mary Fadel, program associate for the scholarship and education department at Amideast, told Annahar.
“Companies and organizations are also providing scholarships just designed for women,” Fadel said.
Earlier this year, a conference that focuses on women in Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, was held under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri. Al Hariri announced that Lebanon will launch a national action plan to increase women’s economic participation in the country.
According to a study conducted by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), major U.S. corporations have embraced diversity as a management strategy to increase the number of women in top jobs. Diversity management programs include: targeted recruitment, hiring, and promotions policies; mentoring programs; affinity groups; and diversity training.
This has also become a strategy used worldwide and in different fields. According to Zeina Osman, Anthropology Professor at the American University of Beirut, more companies are specifically opening job positions for women graduates in STEM domains. Osman stressed that the market is heading towards a more gender diverse environment to increase productivity of the workspace.
“We are heading towards more diversity and more innovation in our labor market, and I believe that women have proved their efficiency in the market,” Osman told Annahar. “Based on my studies, females bring positivity, commitment, and more efficiency to the workplace. A lot of companies have taken that into consideration.”
Ghiwa Shaar contributed to this article.
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations — Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: [email protected]
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