As Saudi Arabia marks its 91st national day, ‘The National’ sits down with pioneer Saudis to talk about the changing face of the kingdom.
After helping create jobs for women in rural areas over the past decade, Rana Zumai is now an SME consultant and head of corporate communications at Nesma Holding, one of the largest private companies in the world. Saudi Arabia is active in the energy, oil and gas, construction, entertainment, real estate, hospitality, tourism, telecom and IT sectors.
She believes Saudi women have already passed the stage of proving themselves in the workplace and believes it is time to see Saudi women leading in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in the world. ‘international.
“We have passed the stage of our proofs. We have seen Saudi women accomplish great things. We are now at a stage where we need to create something unique and make an impact with the empowerment given to us for our country and for the expats living in the kingdom, ”she said. The National in an interview to talk about the major changes in the kingdom ahead of the Saudi National Day on September 23.
She credits Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 for helping women break stereotypes and glass ceilings and helping to create more opportunities and accelerate the pace of change for women around the world. of the company.
“I work with many start-ups created by women and I admire the diversity and their belief that there are no limits,” she said, adding that the future looked bright. for Saudi women in banking and finance.
Vision 2030, announced in 2016, states that a prosperous and progressive nation must encourage and empower all members of society, including women, and therefore revised its civil and labor laws and regulations that influence women’s ability to travel, work and participate in society. .
In 2019, women over 21 were granted the right to obtain passports and travel without permission from their male guardian. The retirement age has been raised to 60, to be equal to that of men, and women have been given more managerial roles and increased protection against discrimination in employment.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aims to increase women’s participation from 22 to 30 percent by 2030.
An estimated 48,000 Saudi women entered the workforce in 2018, an 8.8% increase from the previous year, marking the highest number of employed women in the country’s history.
“The vision paved the way for women to pursue their dreams and ambitions like never before,” she said.
“I started my career in Nesma’s communications department just three years ago. I would like to reach new heights by creating new areas of communication.
“I think human communication is more effective than technical communication. The former has the power to make political progress, to create partnerships between entities and to forge long-term and fruitful relationships between humans. “
Prior to corporate communications, Rana worked for the non-profit organization Nesma Embroidery, where she helped create social value-added opportunities for the business for seven years.
She has played a role in job creation, focusing on improving the socio-economic conditions of women living in rural areas.
“Nesma gave me the opportunity to work with Saudi women in rural areas and allowed me to take leadership positions, to expand our business and factories across the kingdom,” he said. she declared.
“But it really helped me for my role today because I was part of human development, culture, economic development in textiles and other fields. The experience has given me education and advanced communication skills. I was able to learn key elements and strengthen areas like the dignity of work, giving our women advanced titles and roles.
She said the new school of thought is that corporate social responsibility should be changed to CSV – values shared by the community.
“I think that’s how we should see it. We should start this education at an early level in schools across the kingdom, ”she said.
Even after everything she’s done to help Saudi women in business, Rana said her greatest achievement was being a mother.
“I have a 17-year-old son who wants to get into the oil and energy business,” she said. “My 12 year old daughter is in school and she is a creative artist and my youngest is six and is a dancer who wants to compete in the Olympics. I encourage them all to continue and I like to empower them to make their dreams come true.
Rana wants to be a role model for Saudi women who represent culture, religion, trust, humility and integrity. She wants Saudi women to “dream big and remember that there are no limits.” “I want to keep giving back to my country,” she said.
Updated: September 22, 2021 08:24