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Saudi Women Excelling in the Fields of STEM

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More girls in the Kingdom are choosing an education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), they are excelling in the majors. However, one challenge facing them at the moment is not finding jobs related to their fields.

Dr. Fatima Alakeel, a cybersecurity expert and faculty member at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, says that: “In the Kingdom, STEM-related jobs are limited at the moment, as the economy is primarily oil-based and there are few technical jobs available.”

Dr. Fatima Alakeel, cybersecurity expert.

Alakeel is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability Group (CIAG), which focuses on information security training and research in Riyadh.

“We have more girls in STEM education compared to Western countries.”

What is even more impressive is that 57 percent of undergraduates for the year 2015-2016 in the Kingdom were revealed to be girls, and in the same year, women outnumbered men in graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, mathematics, information technology (IT) statistics, and physics. According to a report done by the Saudi Education Ministry.

It’s great seeing how in today’s Saudi Arabia, parents are becoming more encouraging to their daughters and pushing them into getting a degree in male dominant majors, and to study not just in the kingdom but outside in Western universities if needed. Things are definitely looking up for women as day by day, they’re becoming a more crucial part of the development of Saudi Arabia.

The only challenge right now that the government is trying hard to solve, is securing job opportunities for STEM graduates, and it’s only a matter of time until the government succeeds in doing so; as per the vision of 2030. Because based on the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, there will be indeed more jobs, that includes technical ones, once this is achieved, women will of course have their fair share.

“We’re glad to see Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud becoming the first female ambassador of the country. It only suggests change is on the way,” Alakeel said.

22 year-old Maha Al-Taleb, a graduate with a degree in technology from KSU, specializing in IT networks and security, told Arab News: “Saudi women are ambitious. We’re acquiring high degrees and seeking successful careers. I don’t know why the world assumes that Saudi women are a backward tribal species who have no say in these matters. This entire perception is flawed.”

And this couldn’t be more true, because ever since the Vision served to support them, Saudi women had been proving their capabilities in the different fields that they were taken part in, and their success is apparent and impressive throughout the past years.

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Lifestyle

Saudi Rania Nashar Makes it to Forbes’ List of The World’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women”

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The Kingdom’s own Rania Nashar has made it to Forbes’ annual list of “The World’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women” and we can’t help but feel so much pride!

Nashar was ranked the 99th in the list that includes prominent names such as Angela Merkel, Kamaala Harris, Melinda Gates, Rihanna, & many other global female trailblazers.

Nashar is the first female to hold the position of CEO CEO of Saudi commercial bank, Samba Financial Group. She also made it to this ranking through her tremendous efforts in implementing changes that empower women of Saudi Arabia, all of which comes as part of the 2030 Vision.

Nashar has exceeded 20 years of experience in the field of commercial banking and has been inspiring young Saudi women to take on the challenge as well and break the glass ceiling and for that, we congratulate her.

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Lifestyle

This Saudi Landmark Just Won a Prestigious Award for Its Innovative Architectural Design

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The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has received the American Concrete Institute (ACI) award for concrete construction excellence.

The building, which is designed by Zahra Hadid Architects (ZHA), is one of the most well-known landmarks in Riyadh. It’s known for its unique architectural design.

The structure features an hexagonal honeycomb structure which stands out with hexagonal cell openings providing shade from the harsh sun. “ZHA projects have always been unique and creative in an unprecedented, nontraditional way. There’s no other structure like it in the entire world,” Saudi architect Mokhtar Al Shoaibi told Arab News.

The building is made of extremely complex steel, said Saudi architect Mukhtar Al-Shoaibi.

“The contractor working on the job must have gone through so much to install the joints and then apply the sheets over it and now it acts as a monument in the Kingdom,” he told Arab News.

It’s also worth mentioning that KAPSARC won the title of ‘smartest building’ in Saudi Arabia from the Honeywell Smart Building Awards program.

“I’m proud to see Saudis accomplish that. There are many more major projects coming up in the Kingdom as well, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll present,” Mukhtar Al-Shoaibi said.

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Lifestyle

Women’s Participation Rise 120% in Saudi Industries

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Women of Saudi Arabia are claiming their rightful role in private and government sectors, as these sectors strive to hire qualified women in different fields.

According to the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technical Zones (MODON), the number of Saudi women taking part in the industrial cities it oversees has seen a significant increase by around120 percent, bringing the total number of female workers 17,000 by the end of March this year.

Khalid Al-Salem, director general of MODON, said that the authority “has come a long way” and still aims at encouraging the female participation in the industrial sector.

“These oases host clean industries such as medical and food industries, rubber and high-tech industries, as well as prefabricated factories supporting women entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises,” he said.

He said: “MODON seeks to support the productivity of women by providing an optimal environment for their work. Therefore, it signed a memorandum of understanding with a building development company to implement nursery and kindergarten programs in industrial cities and oases under the Ministry of Education’s guidance.” He added.

This strategy of activating the role of women in industrial development goes along with the Saudi Vision of 2020 that aim at enhancing women’s role in the Kingdom’s economy.

 

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