KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia: When doing business, women do not negotiate enough, said Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of the comparison website, Souqalmal.com.
Musa told Arab News on the sidelines of the Arab Women Forum on Tuesday that women had fewer tendencies to ask for help, financial or otherwise.
“I always say, if you don’t ask you don’t get,” Musa added.
“The worst you can get is a ‘no.’ If you do not ask you wouldn’t know. This is a culture I am trying to build,” she explained.
When Musa was first starting her business, she used to think twice before negotiating and before putting a “high number on the table.”
“I would think, ‘oh that could be insulting to the other person.’ I was thinking maybe that is too much to ask.”
The entrepreneurial scene in the reign is still largely male dominant. Women are not “as aggressive in their dreams as male entrepreneurs,” she added.
The change in the cultural norm and how each one perceives the opposite gender starts at a very young age. Musa said women in the families are the ones holding the purse and husbands get back to them for financial consultations.
“Culture and social norms is not something you change overnight. It does require parents, teachers, education system, and the regulators and the governments to bring altogether to change this in the space of a few years,” she said.