DAMMAM – Young and highly educated Saudi females are underutilized by the country’s business community, according to a study conducted by a leading corporate group.
The group presented this finding to the weekly meeting of the Saudi Aramco-based Arabian Society for Human Resource Management (ASHRM).
“Our highly educated female workforce is grossly underutilized. Our local businessmen, companies and contractors have this rich source of talent available to them, with better punctuality and retention rates than the opposite gender,” executives of Global Suhaimi, who made the presentation, said.
The company said it started utilizing the talents of young and highly educated Saudi females as early as 1998 and found that this sector of the country’s workforce has great potential in building a strong national human resource.
“Our findings are that our women are punctual, eager and quick to learn, team oriented, and are not complaining or over demanding,” the company said.
The company also discovered some drawbacks in women’s employment, including long and frequent leaves for health reasons, attachment to families and children, limits on travel to promote business, and costlier insurance coverage.
Another research study – called “Women’s Employment in Saudi Arabia: A Major Challenge” – conducted last April revealed that only 15 percent of the Saudi workforce is made up of women.
“Since the role of women in Saudi society has traditionally been that of wife and mother, the move toward greater female participation in the labor force has been met with skepticism, debate and even hostility,” said author Mona Al-Munajjed, a senior adviser with a local Booz & Company thinktank, the Ideation Center.
Since 1992, the percentage of women participating in the Saudi workforce has nearly tripled from 5.4 percent to 14.4 percent.
Illiteracy is also a major barrier in rural communities, the research also indicated. – With agencies