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Women as managers in Saudi Arabia: research

Updated on June 7, 2014


Saudi women are some of the most educated women in the world today. They attain some of the highest levels of education with many holding PhDs as well as second degrees. These women have a lot of passion for what they do and have proven it through their hard work in universities across the country. The Islamic ideology of seeking knowledge from one’s cradle to the grave ensures that these women are always in pursuit of new information (The Washington Post, 2001). These women are powerful by their own standards and highly influence their families as they understand the various tribal and social networks. However, due to the tribal and traditional nature of the Saudi society, it is actually taking a lot of time before the women can have active roles in the management affairs in the country. These beliefs at times mean that women and men cannot work in the same place. In other occasions such as the universities, men and women cannot see eye to eye and only communicate via CCTV to their male colleagues. It is on very rare occasions that women work alongside men such as the cases in medicine. However, the situation is not all doom as recently there have been developments in the management sector with women assuming higher positions of management and even becoming deputy ministers (Metcalfe & Mimouni, 2011). The major move came in 2014, when a woman became the CEO of the leading investment bank in Saudi Arabia. Sarah Al Suhaimi manages an investment bank with over $ 12 billion dollars in assets. However, things have not been easy for Sarah and to understand the plight of women in the country, and how they fare on in management, it will be important to carry out a research to know the milestones and the successes of the changes in Saudi Arabia in relation to the women in management positions.

Saudi woman: a doctor by profession


Statement of the problem

The Saudi women are victims of being sidelined from mainstream development and management for quite a long time due to the cultural, religious and traditional beliefs in the country. The king of Saudi Arabia uplifted some of the legislations that bar women from attaining higher positions of management and today some changes can be seen (Renard, 2008). To instill these changes, it is necessary to assess the situation to know where the women lie after the changes, and this is why a research on the same is necessary. The problem of marginalization of women in management can only find its solution if the situation is well understood (Al-Ghadeer, 2009). Management in business and accounting are some of the skills that women study in colleges and universities yet they only involve in family businesses as well as individual ventures thus not benefiting the country in any way.

The girl child

I feel that more concerns have been concentrated on the girl child, Neglecting the male child!

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Proposed study

This study seeks to analyze the situation of women in Saudi Arabia when it comes to management especially in business and accounting. The two fields receive many students in colleges and universities, yet in the professional world only a few of the women make it to the destined positions. This begs the question of where the bulk of the students go after their studies. Therefore, the main objective of conducting this study is to novelty out the reasons why the women who study so hard cannot find their way in the job market. This study will be used in informing the policy makers as well as civil society on the most important areas that require attention when dealing with women-issues in business and accounting professions. It will also be important in evaluating the transformation in the Saudi culture that gives more opportunities to women in the job market. The research will help identify the positive changes that the policies have on the career of the Saudi women.


Methods and conclusion

The primary data sources for this research will include interviews with the women managers in the country, the minister in charge of gender equality as well as the civil society leaders. The research will also use surveys in universities and issue questionnaires for respondents.

Secondary sources of data will include online libraries on articles on women management in Saudi Arabia, the place of women according to the tradition of Saudi Arabia among other related topics (Ladin & Marshall, 2004). Government printings, as well as newspaper articles, will also serve as good secondary sources of data. The paper will look at the articles dealing with the transition of Saudi women from school to work, the policies that empower women and how effective they are in the country as well as articles in the constitution that support women in Saudi Arabia.


Gender equality should be given the first priority by all people. Saudi women just like their counterparts should have an opportunity to progress in management given their skills in business and accounting. What is the need of studying hard only to lack an opportunity to live one’s dream?

Scope of study

In order to investigate the place of women in management positions especially in business and accounting, this paper will take the following approaches to the inquiry:

(a) How many women are in the top management in Saudi Arabia?

(b) What is the percentage of women in management positions since the transformation began?

(c) How many women graduate annually from the universities with degrees in business and accounting?

(d) What percentage of graduates makes it in the job market?

(e) What are the barriers to transition into the job market by the graduates?

(f) The possible solutions to the barriers that the graduates face


Kindly note that the above given information comes from peer reviewed sources and is specifically tailored for academic purposes


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    • Daniel Avedon profile imageAUTHOR

      Musembi Daniel Nduva 

      3 years ago from Texas

      In my opinion, Saudi women are great. They have fought, triumphed and are still fighting for their positions in the world.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 

      4 years ago from Uruguay

      It is very hard for me to understand how a culture that in the past contributed so much to advance world knowledge and science is today sponsoring so much ignorance death and obscurity.


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