The best careers for women in Saudi Arabia
The times, they are a-changin’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Over the last few decades, KSA has achieved substantial advances in education for women and the country is hoping that recent reforms instituted by the late King Abdullah will encourage more women to join the workforce.
In 2016, the country chalked out an ambitious diversification plan - Saudi Vision 2030 - for the economy. The reform includes a programme to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 to 30%.
The government has launched several initiatives in this regard. Certain professions like working in lingerie/cosmetic shops has been reserved for women, partnerships have been made to connect Saudi women with university degrees to job opportunities, maternity leave has been increased from four to 10 weeks and companies employing more than 15 women have been told to set up child care centres.
Things seem to be on the right track. Figures from the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development reveal that the number of Saudi women working in the private sector has increased by 130% over the last four years. A Gulf News report stated that the number of working women in KSA has skyrocketed from 2.15 lakh to 4.96 lakh between 2012 and 2016.
For women interested in getting into the KSA workforce today, here’s a look at the best careers to opt for:
Be it doctors, nurses or other healthcare staff, the demand for employees in this sector – one that traditionally sees a lot of women - remains high. Doctors tend to find jobs more easily than nursing staff. New job options such as pharmacists are also available to women now.
Look for heathcare jobs here.
Across the world, education remains one of the top career choices for women. It’s no different in KSA where teaching is considered to be one of the noblest ways of earning. Be it teaching at a school or lecturing at a college, opportunities are plentiful.
Look for education jobs here
A Royal decree in 2011 opened the doors to a career in retail for thousands of Saudi women. New quotas for female employment in the sector have created around 50,000 jobs in a year and it’s now common to see women manning lingerie counters, serving as sales staff or working as cashiers.
Look for retail jobs here
Technology has converted the whole world into a village and the ripples are being felt in Saudi Arabia as well. A large number of software houses and IT firms are looking for software engineers, system managers and software developers. Companies are also considering work-from-home solutions as a way to get around the need for segregated office space.
Look for IT jobs here
The demand for skilled employees is always high and employers are realising the importance of tapping into the large talent pool of highly educated women who are keen to work. Be it design, marketing, business intelligence, risk management, supply chain or quality assurance, the options are many.
Look for consultancy jobs here
Jobs in administration and clerical work have been the preserve of women in other countries. Many organisations in Saudi Arabia are now looking for women who can manage their offices and other responsibilities. Good management and communication skills are mandatory.
Look for admin jobs here
If you like being around people and are compassionate by nature, caregiving may be the career for you. Choose between taking care of babies, women or senior citizens, part time or full time. And with more women joining the workforce in the years to come, the demand for nannies and caretakers for children is sure to rise.
Whether you’re just of college and deciding what career to pursue, or on the hunt for something new, check out the jobs for women on offer.