JEDDAH: The American Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia (AmChamKSA) has held its second Women in Business Committee diwaniya at Sunbulah Group’s head office in Jeddah.
In Saudi culture, a diwaniya is a gathering of people in a special room at home or casual setting, usually for tea or coffee, where different issues or friendly conversations on political and social issues affecting the community are discussed.
The main theme of the AmChamKSA’s diwaniya was women empowerment and leadership in the business world. Attendees enjoyed monologues from two guest speakers, Mrs. Kaya Ikuma, wife of the consul general of the US, and Dr. Abeer Bar, who focuses on educational leadership and policy studies. They shared their inspirational life experiences as career women and mothers.
Dr. Bar briefed everyone with a well-received presentation about higher education, current research in female leadership under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans, and how advanced education impacts empowering women and the mindset and policies in place to boost the country’s economy.
“Women from different sectors and around the world face similar challenges. It is important to celebrate women in their multiple roles in society and business and share experiences through such a platform that will help encourage and motivate women of different nationalities,” she told Arab News.
She added: “The Women in Business Committee spotlights women who have made it in their respective fields and recognizes those who go above and beyond in their work areas. Being an educator, I highly appreciate AmChamKSA for the warm welcome and for creating an inviting atmosphere to freely talk about the trials and triumphs in my career journey.”
The event was followed by an open dialogue that circulated around the topic, with a few attendees sharing their personal experiences and struggles in balancing careers and family life.
Some of them shared their experiences in changing sectors after many years so they could concentrate on family life.
Rozana Al-Tayyar, a professional mediator in business disputes, was one of the attendees who shared her amazing career-changing inspirational story from banking to arbitration during the open dialogue.
All of the attendees expressed how there is power in sharing stories for inspiration, education and uplifting others. The AmChamKSA members chose to share authentic stories from a diverse range of Saudi women in leadership roles. Each woman bravely contributed their story in the hope of encouraging others.
Among the many success stories, the members of AmChamKSA welcomed two iconic Saudi women who are excelling in their fields and climbing the stairs to leadership roles: Roaa Zaki, founder and CEO of the Design Studio, and Nouf Aldhahri, assistant F&B manager at the Jeddah Hilton.
Rola Osta, the engagement manager of the chamber’s Jeddah chapter, said: “The AmChamKSA and Women in Business Committee members were highly interested in attending more of these insightful events, building the bilateral relationship between Saudi and US businesses while focusing on creating the engagement on the advancement of women as outlined in the Vision 2030 development goals.”
Mohammad Tafesh, vice president of the Jeddah chapter, said that these events help attendees build connections and enjoy thoughtful conversation on issues that focus on empowering, inspiring and motivating each other.
“As an organizer, we aim to hold more events, seminars, and panel discussions to bring in business leaders — both men and women — to share stories and to foster more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive workplaces. Through this event, I am hopeful that everyone will leave with clear ideas on how to empower women and create workplaces that empower them,” Tafesh said.