100 most powerful Arab women 2012
Lama Sulaiman
11

Lama Sulaiman

Industry: Government

Company: Jeddah Chamber for Commerce & Industry

Designation: Deputy Chairwoman

Country: Saudi Arabia

Lama Sulaiman was elected deputy chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber
for Commerce & Industry in December 2009, becoming the first female to hold
such a post in Saudi history.

Her
appointment was even more remarkable given that just a week before standing for
election, the businesswoman was told she had beaten breast cancer. The mother of
four is well aware of the delicacies of being a Saudi woman in her position, telling
Bloomberg: “You have to proceed carefully. You have to respect others,” adding that
few clerics object to her working with men due to her husband’s authorisation. That
said, she is a keen supporter of more women holding prominent positions in the kingdom.
“With King Abdullah, we are changing so that women can have far more opportunities,”
she told the newswire. Al Sulaiman studied biochemistry at King Abdulaziz
University before embarking
on her doctorate in nutrition from King’s College London. She is also a board member
of the Jeddah-based Rolaco Trading & Contracting and a member of the Young Arab
Leaders.

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