KSA ranks 44th in female corporate managers

Updated 10 March 2013
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KSA ranks 44th in female corporate managers

Saudi Arabia ranks 44th globally and fifth at the level of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a list that evaluates countries with women serving on company boards and top managerial levels.
According to the latest report released by MyHiringClub.com, Kuwait ranks 35th globally (first at the GCC level), Oman 37th, Bahrain 40th, UAE 42nd and Saudi Arabia 44th.
GCC economists said local business community is need of women’s participation in company boardrooms, particularly following the appointment of 30 women at the Shoura Council.
Economic analyst Walid Al-Subaie said the Kingdom’s occupation of this rank demonstrates the importance of activating the role of women in contributing to the business decision-making process.
Saudi Arabia’ share is 54 percent of total women labor force in the GCC region, a matter that will allow the women to take serious steps to go beyond their traditional role and make remarkable progress in the area of labor, education, and socioeconomic development, he was quoted by local media as saying.
The presence of more than SR 375 billion as frozen assets in local banks, based on the estimates of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), necessitates creation of investment avenues for these huge amounts through productive projects that will, hopefully, raise women’s share in the private sector, he said.
Naif Al-Eid, another economic analyst, said the appointment of 30 women to the Shoura Council is poised to open new horizons for women to effectively contribute in the decision-making process of private sector companies.
He called on the women to have a positive presence at the company boards, especially in the presence of qualified cadres who have benefited from foreign scholarship programs in the last decade.
Last week, an international expert on Shariah-compliant capital markets and treasury, called on Saudi businesswomen to invest their funds which are kept frozen in banks.
Azeemeh Zaheer, vice president of the London-based Gatehouse Bank, who is currently visiting the Kingdom, said Arab women are not only players in economy and development but have become a big financial force, notably after asset build-ups in the Arab counties, in general, and the GCC countries, in particular.
Dean of Jeddah-based Dar Al-Hekma Girls College Suhair Al-Qurashi said Saudi women have become intensively involved in a number of business activities.
Based on the latest data, the number of businesses registered for Saudi women stood at nearly 36,200 which represents 4.7 percent of total registered businesses in the Kingdom, she said.
The volume of women investments in businesses has so far reached SR 3 billion, which represents 4.3 percent of the total number of private sector companies in the Kingdom, she pointed out.


Saudi Arabia’s first atelier aims to be a hub for Eastern Province artists

Updated 3 min 1 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s first atelier aims to be a hub for Eastern Province artists

DHAHRAN: The art scene in the Kingdom is growing fast. Artists are being adopted by organizations both private and public. One of the private organizations is Canvash, which aims to become a hub for the artists of the Eastern Region.
“Canvish is Dutch for canvas board,” Maysa Alrowaished, the company’s founder and art director, told Arab News. “I won the award for the best entrepreneurial project in the Eastern Province, sponsored by Princess Abeer Al-Saud, for Canvash, and I am thankful that we were given the first atelier license Kingdom-wide after a journey of some serious persuasion attempts.”
Canvash is different from other art businesses. Alrowaished explained: “We try to target the concept of part-time jobbing where the artist can do their nine-to-five daily jobs while at the same time practicing their passion with a paycheck at the end. Now we have around 17 employees between artists and technical supporters.”
Canvash began with their most prominent project; the mural of “Ahal Aloja,” thought to be the longest national mural in the Kingdom, on the Alkhobar Corniche. The mural was named “Ahal Aloja,” which is Arabic for “the people of Aloja,” after the old name of Ad Diriyah, the capital of the first Saudi state.
“The mural embraces the history of Saudi Arabia’s kings before the Kingdom was unified,” Alrowaished added. “It consists of a group of portraits and achievements of the kings, along with their lingering quotes; it then reaches our present time, including Vision 2030, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The ‘Ahal Aloja’ mural received so much hype that it even became a trend on social media with a number of regional media channels covering it.”
On Canvash’s future plans, Alrowaished said: “Along with other ongoing projects, we aim to participate in international and local contests and exhibitions.
“Success tastes sweeter with challenges,” she said when asked about the challenges she faced as the founder of Canvash. Her biggest challenge was convincing the Ministry of Commerce to issue her an atelier license. “There was no such category as atelier when I requested the license. Canvash went through a lot of discussions and a lot of inducements.
“My dream was to open up an actual atelier and so I went all the way to the office of the Ministry of Commerce in Riyadh to conduct a presentation to the head of the Kingdom’s records. Thankfully my case was convincing, so I received the first atelier license in the Kingdom.
“We encountered a problem with some members of society who cannot understand the importance of art,” she added. “However, we found out that the majority are actually thirsty for art and very excited for all creative projects. Whenever we are working on a project, we always get inquiries from people asking where to find our work.
“You also see people enjoy watching us while we work on individual projects as if these are entertainment events in themselves. This is what rewards us when work becomes hectic and tiring. Society is looking forward to such initiatives.”