Yusuf M. Sidani
The Lebanese working environment still feeds the stereotype that veiled Muslim women (VMW) are not fit for most work arrangements, which leads to significant obstacles hampering their career advancement. The author uses the ‘sealed borders’ metaphor to explain the status of those women. The ‘glass door’ metaphor has been used in Western scholarship to describe mostly implicit and hidden arrangements that bar women from entering into a certain domain or company. Yet in the case of the VMW in Lebanon, those arrangements are often visible and unambiguous. The author argues that Lebanese organizations need to pay further attention to this demographic segment, as hiring VMW as part of a diverse workforce is the right thing to do from both ethical and pragmatic perspectives. Beyond what organizations need to do, there are several things that need to be done by VMW themselves in order to penetrate the sealed borders put in their paths.