Research / BFI Working PaperMar 28, 2022

Mentorship and Role Modeling, In and Out of the House: Evidence from High School Girls in Saudi Arabia

Alessandra González, Inmaculada Macias-Alonso, Jennifer Peck

The labor market in Saudi Arabia has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, with rapid increases in women’s employment in the private sector. We investigate the role of mentoring in helping female high school students navigate this new economic reality. We use a random-priority invitation design to estimate the effects of an after-school formal mentoring program for female high school students in Riyadh. We explore how these effects are influenced by the presence of possible within-household role models during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. We find that the formal mentoring program increases professional aspirations and that these effects are magnified when students have fathers and working mothers in the house during the lockdown.

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