Over 52% Saudi women reject myth about their lack of employment skills

Arab News,
April 27, 2018

research is part of LinkedIn’s “Hear It From Me” (Esmaaha Menni) campaign which
encourages women in Saudi to showcase their skills and build their professional
brand on the platform. More than 63 percent of Saudi women members have
completed their bachelor’s degrees, exceeding other developed countries.

In this
file photo, a Saudi woman works inside the first all-female call centre in the
Kingdom’s security sector, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)

More than 52 percent of women in Saudi Arabia believe that the perception that
they are not equipped with the necessary skill sets to join the workforce in
the Kingdom is the biggest myth hindering their success and employment. This is
according to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional
network with more than 546 million members.

At the
same time, more than 60 percent of Saudi women and recruiters agree there is
great progress and efforts in the Kingdom toward achieving Saudi Arabia’s
vision to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 to 30 percent
by 2030.

research is part of LinkedIn’s “Hear It From Me” (Esmaaha Menni) campaign which
encourages women in Saudi to showcase their skills and build their professional
brand on the platform in order to be found and hired for key roles across Saudi
companies, fulfilling the country’s 2030 strategy goals.

to the research, one in two (52 percent) recruiters believe that gender
equality leads to higher productivity, while 40 percent believe the key benefit
of hiring men and women equally is that it advances a creative culture,
indicating a willingness to provide more opportunities for women.

while they are ready to join the workforce, 37 percent of Saudi women believe
employers still need to do more to hire them in key roles and more than a
third (38 percent) find that the hardest thing about getting a job in Saudi
Arabia is finding the right opportunity to match their expectations.

at LinkedIn’s insights, it was noted that more than 63 percent of Saudi women
members have indicated completing bachelor’s degrees, exceeding other developed
countries, such as the United States which comes in at 57 percent. On the other
hand, more than 17 percent have completed a master’s degree, demonstrating the
efforts Saudi women are taking in equipping themselves with the necessary
knowledge and skill sets. The top three fields of study for women in Saudi are
business management and administration, followed by computer science and health

There are currently various efforts from companies and entities in the Kingdom
that support gender diversity. Among them are Takamol, the government company
and partner of the Ministry of Labor and social development in Saudi Arabia
which directly supports women’s employment in the Kingdom.

Dr. Ahmad
Al-Yamani, CEO of Takamol said: “Since the establishment of Takamol Holding,
the employment of women and increasing their participation in the workforce has
been a crucial priority and one of the reasons behind the success of the firm’s
initiatives and projects.

“In fact,
women make up 33 percent of the total number of employees at Takamol. In line
with the Saudi Vision 2030 which aims to increase women’s participation in the
workforce, Takamol Holding launched several programs to empower women in the
Saudi workforce including Wusool, Qurrah, Tojjar, which is an electronic
platform, and Bahr.

“At Takamol Holding, we will continue, through our social development
partnerships, to support all initiatives and projects aligned with the Vision,
which can only be achieved through the mutual cooperation of both men and women
who are able to fulfill our highest ambitions and contribute to a positive

In recent
months, great progress has been made in the Kingdom specifically for women to
obtain leading positions in the Saudi workforce. One great example is Dr. Hayat
Sindi, who was one of the first female members to join the consultative
assembly of Saudi Arabia. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the UN
Secretary-General as well as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador.

on the role of society to help women enter the Kingdom’s workforce, Sindi said:
“Indeed, a lot is being done in Saudi Arabia to empower women. Over the
coming few years, it is crucial that we continue to take positive action to
increase women’s role in major industries such as science and technology. This
can be achieved through making careers in these industries more accessible and
attractive to women.

“We also
need to continue extending our support to more women professionals to help
transform them into leaders in their respective fields through providing the
courses and education needed. This will help unleash women’s potential faster
and would be a win for society.”

Mohamed, head of public sector for KSA at LinkedIn, said: “Our main mission is
to connect everyone in the global workforce with economic opportunity. Today we
have around 4,500 job opportunities available in Saudi Arabia on LinkedIn and
so we are encouraging professionals to use our platform to build their
professional brand and as a result become more visible to potential employers
and recruiters.”

She concluded: “In this new era, creating a skilled and balanced workforce can
only be achieved through collaborative actions from both sides. LinkedIn’s role
is to bridge the gap between employers and professionals by providing a platform
where these two audiences can easily find and connect with each other. For the
women who are keen to further their careers, they need to ensure they are
visible to recruiters by using platforms such as LinkedIn, so they can start to
change this narrative, and the Kingdom can thrive by creating a more productive
and creative workforce.”