The Journey of the Young Leaders Advisory Board
Engaging and inspiring the youth.
Established in 2011, the Young Leaders Advisory Board (YLAB) has set out on a journey to empower, engage, and inspire the youth in Saudi Aramco, and to create a link and two-way communication between Generations Y and Z in the company and senior management.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year – the board has only gone from strength to strength. The autonomous body ensures that the youth are an active resource towards solving challenges within Aramco by providing innovative ideas and solutions that drive Saudi Aramco’s strategic intent.
YLAB has a direct line to the Strategy Council in Saudi Aramco to provide input on strategic items and communicate the youth’s voice. YLAB also delivers advisory services to several organizations within the company on people, policies, innovation, and training. This in turn has an impact on the company’s strategies including sustainability, digital transformation, and diversity and inclusion.
Additionally, YLAB initiates independent studies – deep dives – on topics of relevance within the industry and organization. Centered on corporate challenges, these deep dives are conducted to support the company with its strategic intent.
With both the enthusiasm from the youth in the company and the support from the CEO and management, YLAB unleashes the young talents’ full potential by incorporating their ideas and perspectives within the decision-making process.
One of YLAB’s exciting initiatives is the Digital Hackathon, which was launched by YLAB 6 back in 2019. It was a pivotal point for YLAB to recognize the power of a healthy competition between enthusiastic employees, which allowed them to bring out their creative energies to the fullest level. A Sustainability Hackathon, organized by YLAB 7, has also rolled out this year - encouraging more employees to channel their inner creativity and bring compelling and competitive sustainability ideas and innovations.
It is empowering and inspiring for the youth to know that they can make significant changes, to have their voices heard, and to become a major part of shaping the future. Hence, YLAB introduced Youth-Initiated-Studies - where young employees can present a proposal to analyze a specific situation, policy, process, or any potential opportunity. YLAB would support through providing resources, feedback, and connecting them with the appropriate stakeholders.
This autonomous body is not for its members only. It exists to serve young employees across the company. YLAB actively engages young employees through webinars, discussions groups, and various publications, and also provides plenty of resources available on their website, for those eager to learn more on relevant topics, or add on to their skills.
The doors are always open for young employees to participate, whether you have an idea, or have a talent and would like to contribute as a graphic designer, content creator, artist, or writer – there’s always room for you.
Connecting with executive management
Senior vice president of Technical Services Ahmad A. Al Saadi and Nasir K. Al Naimi, senior vice president of Upstream, engaged with the youth in an open-panel discussion moderated by Abdullah B. Kurdi. An executive panel session was held the following day, moderated by Hala A. AlHashmi, with Ahmad A. Al-Subaey vice president of Marketing, Sales, and Supply Planning.
They touched on several matters of interest to the youth including:
- Preparing future leaders in the company
- Employee well-being
- Saudi Aramco being the best place to work
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Sustainability and climate change
Inspiring Change and Continuity
Through the CEO, Corporate, and Executive panels, a connection is created that the youth do not usually have access to, especially in discussing topics of relevance and interest to the youth, and to the company. YLAB has always worked to facilitate a direct link and a bridge between the youth of the company and senior management. Hence why, one of the strengths of joining YLAB is not only the autonomy that the youth has, but also the direct line with the decision makers in the company.
Throughout the years, YLAB has conducted over 30 studies, above 80 advisory services, and engaged over 40,000 young employees. They went from having 12 members in the first year and a duration of a year, to having 16 members today, with a duration of 18 months per cohort.