Employing An Untapped Resource In Saudi Arabia: Women

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Sara AbdulAziz al-Omran is climbing the corporate ladder in a country where many women used to stay home. She leaves her parents’ home early every dawn to head to her job at the All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre. In right two years, al-Omran has gone from trainee to team chieftain, with three other women working speedily under her. “It’s friendly to feel independent and achieve a thing in your career,” al-Omran says.

The young Riyadh native’s team processes corporate invoices and payments at Saudi Arabia’s at the outset business-process outsourcing center, a internode venture of Tata Consultancy Services, GE and Saudi Aramco. With exclusive government agencies among its clients, the couple-year-old center is part of the government’s program to blow up the Saudi economy from energy into information work. It’s also unique in the midst of GE’s five global service centers: Only women toil there. Within two years, the center be inclined have 3,000 women workers.

The center sits at the intersection of demographics and business in Saudi Arabia’s prime. Previously, 80 percent of the country’s workforce was in the the world sector; now the government is difficult to stimulate private enterprise, and international companies have set up shop.


The pair-year-old All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre is interest of the Saudi government’s program to unfold the Saudi economy from energy into information work. Image credit: All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre

The women-but facility is part of the National Transformation Initiative of King Salman and his son the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed box Salman and taps an unused instrumentality, says Dr. Amal Fatani, the Saudi-born pharmacology and toxicology professor who heads the center. “We are utilizing some of the most important treasures we be obliged in this country: our daughters,” says Fatani, a female parent of four herself, who worked as being decades setting up and running women’s departments at Saudi Arabia’s at the outset university, King Saud University, as well for example at the Ministry of Higher Education.

Although the guidance has embarked on a campaign to integrate women additional fully into private enterprises, the workforce participation rate of the kingdom’s women is in continuance comparatively low. Just 13 percent of Saudi workers are belonging to, although women account for 51 percent of university graduates, according to reported Saudi commonwealth statistics. (The number is higher in nurture and healthcare, where women account with regard to around 40 percent of workers.)

Fatani says that Saudi women present to work with other women. She pronounce that “it has been a noted challenge convincing them to work in the confidential sector, as it’s mainly a promiscuous environment.” At the TCS center, everyone — from executives to janitors — is offspring-bearing.


“We are utilizing one of the greatest number important treasures we have in this fatherland: our daughters,” says Dr. Amal Fatani. Image credit: All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre

In addition to recruiting candidates, the center besides has to convince clients that Saudi women be able to do the work. That requires changing some incorrect stereotypes, says Deepa Vincent, the Tata economist sent to Saudi Arabia to commencement human resources for the center. Neither the demand to wear the abaya nor the restrictions force on women’s participation in fellowship means that women are subservient or smaller talented in business, she says: “A Saudi woman knows exactly the kind of she wants.”

The initial efforts appear to be working. Clients include businesses in Turkey and North Africa, because well as in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the U.S. and India. They embody the Saudi government, as well being of the kind which sponsors Saudi Aramco and GE, that has promised to invest $1 billion in the uncultivated.

For college students, the center is a sought-afterward place to work amid a lack of options. Al-Omran is driven, given to study and bilingual in Arabic and English, only Saudi Arabia is a tough stronghold for a woman to be each accountant.


Clients include businesses in Turkey and North Africa, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the U.S. and India. Image credit: All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre

So when al-Omran, about to get her bachelor’s literary in accounting with a diploma in pecuniary modeling from Riyadh’s King Saud University, heard near to a new local company that was hiring pistil-bearing graduates, she applied. After she current her offer, her father, who works in the aircraft assiduity, visited the center and interviewed her new bosses to make sure it was each acceptable situation. With his support, al-Omran started considered in the state of a trainee in January 2014.

In the what may occur hereafter, TCS plans to open additional outsourcing centers through women workers in cities outside of Riyadh. Says Vincent, “If this isn’t testimony of what women can do, I don’t know what is.”

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