Saudi Arabia’s NELC launches advanced e-learning courses

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RIYADH: Nine out of 10 women working in Saudi Arabia say the organizations they work for have policies in place that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

That’s according to a study by global management consultancy Kearney, which examines factors affecting women in the workplace, including employer support for career ambitions, adoption of work hybrid, as well as the imperatives of diversity, equity and inclusion set by their organizations.

Kearney’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey finds that 8 in 10 women feel they get the support they need from their employer to achieve their career goals.

About 51% of female employees in the Kingdom see themselves changing sectors or careers in the next 10 years, and 36% indicated that they would like to take on a management position.

Sixty percent would like their employers to provide them with training on skills and emerging trends such as ESG and data analytics to help support their career ambitions.

Nearly 48% would like employers to offer them regular training to improve their skills in their current career choice.

Isabel Neiva, Leadership, Change and Organizing Partner at Kearney Middle East, said: “Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has shown a remarkable commitment to bringing more women into the market. with reforms implemented to incentivize and protect women entering the labor market.

Isabel Neiva, Leadership, Change and Organizing Partner at Kearney Middle East.

“Increasing women’s participation in the labor market has yielded undeniable results and fueled the country’s transformation. Encouraging women to play a greater role in the workforce will contribute to the Kingdom’s efforts towards economic diversification and ultimately real progress towards Vision 2030.”

Looking at hybrid workplaces, 60% of respondents said their employer offered them the option of working from home or in the office.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents were offered hybrid work cultures but chose to work from the office, while 3% chose to only work from home.

Only 7% of organizations do not have a hybrid working structure.

When asked how hybrid working has contributed to equitable work opportunities, 84% of respondents recorded higher levels of motivation, 85% productivity, 84% progress, 78% inclusion, and 86% learning and development.

However, 54% of women also expressed concern that hybrid working leads to missing out on key career progression opportunities.

Despite this, respondents remained optimistic about the changing landscape of leadership roles, with 76% believing that new ways of working will have a positive impact on women entering the workforce.

Looking at policies that have a positive impact on removing barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion, 49% of women highlighted flexible working as a game-changer.

“There has been tremendous progress in recent years in terms of gender diversity and equal opportunity,” Neiva said.

“However, many women still find that they have to work harder and provide more evidence of their competence than men. To ensure that women in the workforce receive the necessary means and support to achieve their full potential, it is essential that organizations offer regular training to improve the skills of their female employees and have policies in place to foster diversity and inclusion and eradicate bias,” she said.

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