Celebrating International Women’s Day
Striving for more diversity and inclusion.
Today, the company joins the world in celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 with the theme “Choose to Challenge,” matching the global campaign and supporting women’s development, equality, and equity in the workplace.
Diversity and inclusion is part of our DNA
When it comes to hiring and providing leadership and development opportunities for women, Aramco has long led by example in the Kingdom. In 1964, the company hired the first Saudi woman, Najat Al Husseini, as a health professional who led the company’s vaccination campaigns and opened a door for thousands of women to follow.
Today, women make up 43% of the students sponsored annually by the company to attain scholarships from prestigious universities around the world, with the goal to raise that number to 50%. Those women, along with others, are graduating to take up positions and lead in their fields.
In addition to that, one-third of our Young Leaders Advisory Board are women, making their voices heard as advisors to the company’s management and representatives of the company’s youth population. And 10% of the startups funded through the company’s entrepreneurship arm, Wa’ed, are led by women.
Challenging ourselves to do more
“Fostering diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, it is also well documented that an equitable workplace leads to better business results,” said Reema Siyam, head of Aramco’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team. “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we choose to challenge norms and practices to create an inclusive culture with a thriving, diverse workforce. Becoming the employer of choice to the Kingdom’s and the world’s top performers will open more doors to innovation and enhanced performance.”
Aramco is contributing to the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision target of having a workforce of 30% women, and the diversity programs in place and the commitment of Aramco leadership to increase the participation of women as leaders aims to help accelerate the company’s progress.
“Hiring and developing a diverse workforce is a business priority at Aramco,” said Siyam. “And our desire to be an inclusive workplace and global role model shapes our decisions and practices in hiring talent, diversifying leadership, as well as providing the necessary training and learning opportunities to engage all employees.”
Wafa Alrashed chose to challenge
A recent graduate from King Abdulaziz University, Wafa A. Alrashed joined Aramco as an electrical engineer with the South Ghawar Producing Department. Moving from the seaside city of Jiddah to the heart of the desert in ‘Udhailiyah, she became one of the active engineers responsible for monitoring operations and maintaining production at the ‘Uthmaniyah Gas-Oil Separation Plant-11 (UGOSP-11).
For the past two months, she has joined her team on-site as the first female plant engineer in UGOSP-11. “It’s so different to be on the plant and I’ve learned more in these two months than in the year I spent in the office,” said Alrashed.
Her goal this year is to come up with new optimization ideas that will help her department achieve cost saving and cost avoidance as well as alternative solutions to save energy in the plant.
“When I joined Aramco, the story of Nabilah Altunsi inspired me and it made me want to follow in her path,” said Alrashed. “Vision 2030 is opening so many doors for us and I believe it falls on our shoulders to make this change, to take these challenges and opportunities and make the best of them.”
Noor Almubayedh chose to challenge
Noor Almubayedh had two options after graduating with a degree in finance: to work for a bank or a financial institution, or to try something new.
She opted for a job at Aramco’s Downstream business. “I had no experience or knowledge of the oil and gas business, but I was determined to learn all that I can and challenge myself to excel in this field.”
Almubayedh currently works as an investment analyst, and one of her proudest moments was being part of the IPO team. “It was extremely exciting,” she said. “We advised corporate on Downstream operations for the IPO, and received the company’s President Excellence Award for it.”
She doesn’t mind working on such high-level projects, but says the pressure is always high to perform well. “I really thrive in that type of environment and I’m constantly being inspired by my colleagues and their will and perseverance to excel and make a change.”
Her message for anyone interested in joining a field that seems foreign to them is to jump right in. “There are so many opportunities so be ready for them,” she said. “Never underestimate yourself and never stop learning.”