World-Renowned Professional Services Firm EY Appoints First Saudi Arabian Female Partner

Esraa Al Buti

Last month, Princess Nourah Bint Saad became the first Saudi woman to be president of a sports club, after officially acquiring the Umbrian football club Spoleto Calcio, in Italy. This week, another Saudi Arabian woman is making headlines for attaining a new level of leadership in her area of specialty: Esraa Al Buti has become the first-ever Saudi woman to be promoted by multinational professional services firm EY.

According to Saudi Gazette, Al Buti’s promotion places her within a leading group of 218 partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as part of EY’s service lines and industry sectors. The news site reported that the number of women promoted to partner this year by the firm has tripled from last year, and the latest “MENA partners are based in EY offices in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, joining the advisory, assurance, transaction advisory services, and tax practices.”

Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim

In the article, Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, EY’s MENA chairman and CEO, was quoted as saying, “I am delighted to welcome such a diverse and talented group to our leadership team in the MENA region. Their range of experience across various sectors and services reflects the depth of EY offerings, while also highlighting our expertise in the different economies of the region […] As the digital age pushes businesses to explore untapped opportunities and mitigate new risks, we will continue to ensure that our clients have access to the latest technology and solutions through our exceptional leaders and high-performing teams.”

Founded in 1989, EY, or Ernst & Young, is headquartered in London, and is considered today one of the largest professional services firms in the world. Indeed, along with Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), EY is considered one of the world’s Big Four accounting firms, reported to have 270,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries, and provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.

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