Winds of change: An all women’s business & tech park for Saudi Arabia
The winds of change seem to be blowing in Saudi Arabia as far as attitude towards women is concerned. While lots of new opportunities are opening up for Saudi women in different sectors, the society is also opening up to women moving into public spaces, working for financial security and economic independence. To facilitate this idea even more, the world’s largest women’s university, Princess Nourah University (PNU) has teamed up with IT giant Wipro and Saudi Aramco to inaugurate all-women’s business and Technology Park. The initiative was kicked off in Riyadh on May 2.
It is estimated that the all women’s business parkwill create an estimated 21000 jobs for women by 2025.
“The JV is responsible for developing the facilities and infrastructure at the park set in Riyadh, as well as training and employing up to 21,000 Saudi women,” said Wipro in a statement on Monday as reported by Indian Express. “Dedicated to working women, this business park is a first of it’s kind of project aimed at providing knowledge-based employment for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it added. The sectors that are going to be benefitted the most through the women’s business park are oil and gas, government, manufacturing, healthcare, telecom and construction.
The main motive of having this women’s business park is to create a gender diverse ecosystem in the workplace arena. The Rector of PNU, Huda Al-Ameel resonates with the idea and points out the need of giving women a “critical role to play in a way that serves the objectives of a nation”. Saudi Arabia has about 60% women going to university and studying but hardly 15% actually join the workforce. The stakeholders of the initiative are hoping for the percentages to increase by bringing more women into the economic ecosystem.
The founder of Wipro, Azim Premji fully supports the idea of women empowerment and promoting women in business by encouraging their participation. “It has been more than a decade since Wipro began its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and localisation has always been an important aspect of our business strategy here,” Azim Premji pointed out as quoted by DNA.
Another major objective to create this space especially for women is that the university wants to encourage the start-up culture tem in Saudi Arabia and it feels that this will help women open up to the idea of starting up something of their own. Let’s hope the women take advantage of this initiative and further their participation in the economy.
Feature Image Credit: DNA