Five Leading Saudi Women Leaving Their Mark Across Industries
This Women’s History Month would not be complete without celebrating those women who have broken through every glass ceiling to rise to the top again and again, leading companies and transforming industries. Here we look at five female Saudi Arabian CEOs – influencers and trailblazers in many ways – who have over the course of their career made a significant impact on the Kingdom and beyond.
1. Dina Amin, CEO of Saudi Arabia's Visual Arts Commission
Dina Amin is the current CEO of Saudi Arabia's Visual Arts Commission. Her appointment coincided with the earlier launch of the Visual Arts Commission by the Kingdom's ministry of culture, which aims to grow and promote Saudi arts and cultural fields. In fact, Amin is best known as a leading Saudi specialist in the visual arts and international contemporary art field, with a long and diverse career that spans over two decades. Previously, she was Senior International Director at 20th Century and Contemporary Art at global auction house Phillips (United Kingdom), and before that she was Senior Director at Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s, working in New York, London, and Dubai.
2. Tadawul's Sarah Al-Suhaimi
Sarah Al-Suhaimi is Board Director and CEO of NCB Capital, the investment arm of Saudi's National Commercial Bank (NCB). During her leadership, market share in brokerage and corporate finance increased, while assets under management more than doubled. Currently, she is the first chairwoman of Tadawul, the largest stock market in the region. In fact, Al-Suhaimi has been building up her career since 2007, while leaving an impact on the trading scene. She started off as Chief Investment Officer at Jadwa Investment, then made her way up as Senior Investment Officer at Samba where she co-managed 12 billion dollars in local equities. By 2017, Bloomberg Businessweek named her as one of "50 people to watch."
3. Adwa Al Dakheel
Adwa Al Dakheel is a professional Forex trader specialized in stock options who actually had her first start at the age of 16 as a stock market analyst. She is also the founder and CEO of Falak, Ns3a, and Dar Technology, as well as co-founder of the Social Advisors. If that wasn’t enough for one woman to handle, the multi-talented young Saudi influencer is also an author, a nifty guitarist, and an ardent squash champion. As a teenager, she founded the R&A Fund after winning the trading markets competition in Boston, and would go on to publish her very own book, "Proven Billionaires' Formula," which enlightens readers of all ages about the path to success.
4. Saudi British Bank's Lubna Olayan
Lubna Olayan was named chairwoman of the Saudi British Bank (SABB) in 2019, and again the following year. This made her the first Saudi woman ever to lead a bank within the Kingdom. Previously, she sat on the board of Saudi Hollandi Bank (present-day Alawwal Bank) in 2004, and joined the International Advisory Boards of Rolls-Royce and Citigroup in 2006 and 2007. In 2014, she was listed as the 86th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, in addition to being awarded the Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010. She is also a fellow member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
5. Dr. Iman Bint Habas Al-Mutairi
Dr. Iman Bint Habas Al-Mutairi started her career as an assistant professor of human genetics at Harvard University, and then joined PerkinElmer as a microarray scientist in Chicago that same year. Up till the late 2010s, she would build up her career further while working with Aramco. Among the rising number of female Saudi leaderships in 2019, Dr. Al-Mutairi was appointed CEO of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) by Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers. This coincided with a report by PRNewswire, in May that same year, that Saudi Arabia jumped 13 positions, the highest leap among the 63 participating countries in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019.