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March 28, 2013

Women’s Role in Qatar’s Const. Industry Discussed

Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) focused on the vital role women play in sustainable development at a joint event with Qatar University (QU).

A number of industry-leading experts from QGBC and QU took part in the discussion, affirming women’s critical contributions to Qatar’s sustainable development, and proposing actions to strengthen their role by eliminating social and logistical obstacles.

“Despite facing a number of hurdles, women are as capable as men in leading the construction industry in Qatar,” said Eng. Rasha Al-Sulaiti, Vice Chair of QGBC and Project Management Director at Qatar Foundation’s Capital Projects and Facilities Management division – where the ratio of Qatari women versus men now stands at 52 percent to 48 percent respectively.

At the national level the picture is very different. According to Qatar Statistics Authority’s recent survey of the nearly half a million people working in the construction sector, only 2,800 are women, including just 143 Qataris.

“When you enter a construction company (in Qatar)… you hardly find a woman, except in administrative tasks,” said Sheikha Athba bint Thamer Al Thani, who, since joining QDVC in 2010, has advanced to become Chief Support Services and Sustainable Development Manager.

“I want to highlight why we experience this situation and how we can convince both men and women that females have a role to play in an industry representing billions of Qatari Riyals,” said Ms Al Thani, before drawing attention to cultural limitations, long working hours, and a variety of other restrictions hindering the potential of women in sustainable development.