This paper reports on the first qualitative research study of women’s life histories in an investigation of their participation and progress in the labor force of the United Arab Emirates. Data were collected through interviews with 18 female participants. The sample represents a cross section of national women who work outside the home. Content analysis of the interview narratives recognizes emergent themes that influence women from early years, through education, and into careers. Findings show that the family and cultural context, significant others, professional considerations, and their future competency influence women's participation in the labor force. The implications for human resource management are discussed with references to these emerging themes. Changes to policies and practices are suggested to recruit and retain women in the labor force. The collection and analysis of further data will increase scholarly knowledge and has implications for business practice. Increased rates of local women in the labor force is a topic of national interest in the United Arab Emirates.