JEDDAH: Never has there been a more promising and exciting time to be a young woman leader in Saudi Arabia than right now.
Barriers are being replaced by opportunities in various ways, said Elina Idrisova, general manager at Ctrl2GO Global.
Ctrl2GO is a technology partner for the sustainable development of industrial companies. The company has implemented more than 100 projects in digital transformation for more than 50 companies worldwide including Glencore, Schneider Electric, GE, Saudi Aramco, Siemens and Sibur.
Established in 2016, the company is now present in multiple countries, including India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The way is bright and full of opportunities. I’m glad to see Saudi women shaping the future of the Kingdom being at the front of Vision 2030’s realization.
Elina Idrisova, General manager, Ctrl2GO Global
“I’m excited by all the transformation happening regarding women’s leadership in the Kingdom. And I’m glad to be one of the pioneers here…to be a general manager of an international IT company in Saudi Arabia,” Idrisova told Arab News.
She highlighted that the Kingdom has been classified as one of the top countries in the world to reform laws and regulations related to women, according to the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law Report for 2020 and 2021.
“This came as a result of the accelerated reforms undertaken by the Kingdom to empower Saudi women,” she said. “The economic participation rate of Saudi females increased during the three years from 2017 to 2020 by 94 percent.”
Indicating the rise of female startup founders in the Kingdom, she said Saudi Arabia has a higher percentage of women working in the technology startup sector than Europe.
“Saudi Arabia issued 139,754 new commercial licenses to women in 2021,” said Idrisova.
The last three years have witnessed Saudi women being entrusted with significant assignments, including Lubna Olayan, who become the first woman to head up a foreign business council; Sheila Al-Rowaily, who worked as a financier with Saudi Aramco and then went on to become the first woman to join the board of directors of the Saudi Central Bank; Sarah Al-Suhaimi, the first Saudi woman to chair the Kingdom’s Stock Exchange Tadawul; and Basmah Al-Mayman, the regional director for the Middle East at the UN World Tourism Organization.
“Princess Reema bint Bandar was the biggest role model for me before I started working with the Saudi Arabian market,” Idrisova said.
“She always empowered me by the way she handles things and builds the base for future prosperity.
“The way is bright and full of opportunities. I’m glad to see Saudi women shaping the future of the Kingdom being at the front of Vision 2030’s realization.”