Aldakhil made MD of SRMG, Al-Faiz CEO of Nashr Co., Al-Harthi editor in chief of Arab News

Updated 07 January 2013
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Aldakhil made MD of SRMG, Al-Faiz CEO of Nashr Co., Al-Harthi editor in chief of Arab News

Prince Faisal bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), has appointed Dr. Azzam Aldakhil managing director of SRMG in addition to his position as chairman of Numu Media Company, Abdulwahab Al-Faiz CEO of Nashr Company, and Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi editor in chief of Arab News. The new appointments come into effect today.
In a statement on the occasion, Prince Faisal said the new appointments came in the wake of the changes and challenges the publishing industry has been witnessing in its conventional framework at national, regional and international levels.
“Such challenges and the new initiatives in building integrated print and digital platforms have been entailed with a sizeable increase in the new digital readership and a promising digital advertising share,” the SRMG chief said.
Prince Faisal, who heads one of the leading Arab publishing and publishing-related groups in the Middle East, said the new vision to develop the group’s strategy in the publishing, education and packaging sectors, has been presented to the board.
“It follows the new appointments of highly experienced professionals to lead and develop those sectors and their futuristic initiatives,” the prince said. Under the new organization, legacy publishing and related operations of advertising, distribution and subscriptions will be brought under Nashr Company. New media, specialized and commercial publishing and content creation, education and online advertising will be under the umbrella of Numu Media Company.
In a similar statement, Dr. Aldakhil said the group had studied in depth the new developments taking place in the content creation industry in the digital age, and the subsequent fast-growing multi-platform readership with young readers constituting the majority.
“This expansion in the readership space opens wide doors for new smart approaches in knowledge investment directed to integrated print and digital platforms,” Dr. Aldakhil said.
Dr. Aldakhil added that the two companies, Nashr and Numu, would be operating together to enhance the base of growth in SRMG. He said Al-Faiz, who is the CEO of Nashr, has been following closely the developments in the publishing industry during his work as editor in chief of a number of publications in the Saudi Research and Publishing Company. Nashr’s activities will include all operations related to SRPC’s publications on the levels of publishing, advertising and distribution.
Al-Harthi, the new editor in chief of Arab News, will continue to hold his present position as the editor in chief of Sayidaty magazine. Al-Harthi, who succeeds Al-Faiz as Arab News editor in chief, has been one of the prominent editors in SRPC. He developed Sayidaty and its sister publications in Arabic and English and paved the way for Sayidaty to become a leading women’s magazine in the Arab world.
Prince Faisal also appointed Mai Badr as the deputy editor in chief of Sayidaty in addition to her job as the editor in chief of Hia magazine. Badr has been the editor of Hia for many years and succeeded to create a growing base of distinguished readership for the magazine.
The chairman also appointed Mona Seraj, managing editor of Sayidaty in Saudi Arabia, as deputy editor in chief of Hia magazine. Seraj is a professional Saudi journalist who has achieved long-standing experience in the media industry.
“All the new appointments and decisions will be effective as of Jan. 5, 2013 to meet the new challenges of the coming phase of growth in SRMG,” the company said in a statement.


How Saudi women are getting ahead of men as STEM graduates

Dr. Fatima Alakeel, cybersecurity expert. (AN photo)
Updated 20 March 2019
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How Saudi women are getting ahead of men as STEM graduates

  • ‘Securing a job after the degree remains the challenge,’ says Dr. Fatema Alakeel of King Saud University in Riyadh
  • ‘Saudi women are ambitious,’ says one graduate. ‘We are acquiring high degrees and seeking successful careers’

DUBAI: More and more girls in Saudi Arabia are opting for an education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and now the challenge is finding them employment, said Dr. Fatima Alakeel, a cybersecurity expert and faculty member at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.
“In the Kingdom, STEM-related jobs are limited at the moment, as the economy is primarily oil-based and there are few technical jobs available,” said Alakeel, who is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability Group (CIAG), which focuses on information security training and research in Riyadh.
According to a government report on the labor market situation in the third quarter of 2018, more than 30 percent of Saudi women aged between 15 and 65 are unemployed.
Among them, the highest rate of unemployment is among 20-24-year-olds (more than 70 percent) and among 25-29-year-olds (55 percent).
According to the report, there are 923,504 Saudi jobseekers, of whom 765,378 are women (82.2 percent).
“We have more girls in STEM education compared to Western countries,” said Alakeel, who completed her doctoral degree in computer science in the UK at the University of Southampton in 2017.
According to a report prepared by the Saudi Education Ministry, girls accounted for 57 percent of undergraduates for the year 2015-2016 in the Kingdom.
That same year, women outnumbered men in graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, information technology (IT), mathematics and statistics, and physics.
According to a survey Alakeel recently conducted on social media, “almost 80 percent of (Saudi) girls were keen to study STEM, but securing a job after the degree remains the challenge,” she said.
Maha Al-Taleb, 22, graduated earlier this year with a degree in technology from KSU, specializing in IT networks and security.
“It’s common for girls in the Kingdom to opt for STEM education,” said Al-Taleb, who now works in a public sector company in Riyadh as a junior information security analyst.
“Saudi women are ambitious. We’re acquiring high degrees and seeking successful careers. I don’t know why the world assumes that Saudi women are a backward tribal species who have no say in these matters. This entire perception is flawed.”
Al-Taleb got a job offer immediately after university, but realizes that not all her peers are as fortunate. Women “are facing problems in securing jobs, not because companies don’t want to hire us, but because employment for Saudi youths is a major challenge,” she said.
“In today’s Saudi Arabia, parents are encouraging their daughters to get a degree not just in the Kingdom; they also want them to go to Western universities. It has become a common phenomenon. Things have changed. Women are a crucial part of the nation’s development process.”
Not all women graduating in the Kingdom are as lucky, among them Razan Al-Qahtani. “It has been several months since I graduated, yet I haven’t been able to find a job. It has been a struggle so far,” said the 25-year-old IT graduate. “We have more talented and qualified girls, especially in the field of technology, but there are few jobs available. It’s a difficult situation, but we’re hopeful things will change very soon.”
Al-Qahtani expressed confidence that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan will bring opportunities for qualified Saudis.
As part of Vision 2030, the government has committed to raise employment among Saudi women.
Alakeel said the government is working hard to find a solution, and it is only a matter of time until more such jobs are on offer.
“As per Vision 2030, there will be more jobs, including technical jobs, available in the country. Once we have more jobs, women will eventually get their due share,” she added. According to Alakeel, female empowerment and promotion to leading roles have made huge progress in Saudi Arabia, and this may affect existing STEM job opportunities.
“We’re glad to see Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud becoming the first female ambassador of the country. It only suggests change is on the way,” Alakeel said.
Al-Taleb expressed pride in the way her parents have supported her, saying: “My father isn’t educated and my mother has basic literacy, but both provided me with the education I desired. They want their daughters to be as successful as their sons.”
Like women in any country, the transition from university to the workplace is not always easy, even for young Saudi women with technology degrees. Yet they are not losing hope.
“We realize these are difficult times in terms of employment, especially in technology-related fields, but things will change,” Al-Taleb said. “Saudi women will soon be ruling the fields of STEM all over the country.”