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Saudi Arabia experiences near parity in the youth literacy rate and higher overall female tertiary enrollment (46% female vs. 41% male)(UIS, 2015) and the Saudi government now offers one of the world's largest scholarship programs for women (Islam, 2014). However, the seeming gender-parity within the educational system does not translate into equality in the labor force; in STEM, fewer than 2% of researchers are women and overall female employment hovered around 20% in 2013 (compared to 43% among other GCC members) (UIS, 2015; G20 2014 Employment Plan Saudi Arabia). In 2011, in recognition that high numbers of female university graduates and low female employment is a national issue of underutilized human resources the Saudi Ministry of Labor implemented programs to increase women’s workforce participation (e.g., G20 2014 Employment Plan Saudi Arabia) and the Saudi government and Harvard have recently started to address the technical and societal challenges related to increasing women in the workplace (Searcey, 2014).
Research team: TBD