Princess Reema bint Bandar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, expressed how the country's reforms have empowered women to play a crucial role in shaping its economic future. Since the start of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform initiative, which is being spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, inclusion has taken the lead on the national agenda.
Princess Reema highlighted several achievements that demonstrate the progress made for women in Saudi Arabia. She emphasized that more women than men are enrolling in STEM professions, earning postgraduate degrees, and controlling more than 40% of small and medium-sized startup businesses in the country. Additionally, women in Saudi Arabia enjoy equal pay, and the World Bank recognized the country's outstanding economic and social advancement for women, ranking it first among 190 economies.
Despite these significant advancements, Princess Reema acknowledged that more needs to be done. She stressed the importance of boosting the representation of women in leadership positions, in order to effectively foster diversity. Despite making up half of the world's population, women are disproportionately underrepresented in positions of leadership, business ownership, middle management, and the workforce as a whole. Princess Reema believes that real advancement should prioritize gender equity and women's empowerment.
To achieve these goals, Princess Reema emphasized the necessity of investing in women's education, training, and mentorship. She is adamant that education plays a crucial role in creating a fair and equal opportunity for women in the workforce and advancing gender equality and fairness. Women who have access to education are better able to manage their money, actively participate in financial decision-making within their households and neighborhoods, and challenge cultural views that are biased against women in the workplace.
Princess Reema called for more women to take up leadership roles, continue their work in middle management positions, and become business owners. She stressed the importance of mentorship programs focused on female success and increased investment in women-led startups.
By providing women with education, training, and mentorship opportunities, Princess Reema is confident that a more inclusive society can be built. Breaking down barriers and biases that hold women back will pave the way for the next generation of women to thrive. Ultimately, this will not only create a more equal and inclusive society but also a more prosperous one for everyone in Saudi Arabia.