Glowork, a Saudi Arabia-based social enterprise focused on linking female jobseekers with employers, formally launched its new online business proposition at an event organised by Emirates Foundation on Tuesday.
A new female-only recruitment app has been developed to help connect women to job opportunities in the private sector, in addition to the company’s existing online female recruitment platform.
The app allows female candidates to create a digital curriculum vitae providing necessary data to employers looking for talent.
By leveraging big data and scaling up female access to the labour force, the app is believed to have the potential to significantly disrupt regional markets and fast track female labour force participation.
Glowork, which was founded by Khalid Alkhudair in 2011, launched its new offering at Emirates Foundation’s regular quarterly private sector forum held at The Address Hotel Dubai Marina.
Held under the theme “Big Data Solutions for Female Labour-Force Participation”, the event hosted Fadi Ghandour, chairman of Wamda Capital and founder of Aramex, as a key note speaker.
Ghandour called for greater support from the private sector to build enabling ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in the region.
“I believe that we will see a growing number of young social entrepreneurs, both men and women, emerging in the Middle East, who are taking an active role in addressing the challenges their communities are facing,” he said.
“It is up to us to provide them with the support they need from education, to capacity building, and funding, to nurture their ambitions.”
Echoing his sentiment, Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation, highlighted the pioneering role that Glowork has played to date in both serving as a role model for social enterprises in the region but also in creating a scalable and viable solution for critical regional development challenges.
“It is well known that the MENA region has some of the highest rates of youth unemployment and the lowest rates of female labour force participation in the world,” she said.
“Clearly there is a huge opportunity for us to leverage the appetite of young people for creating social value through enterprise to try and fast track female access to the work force while also encouraging more innovation in the private sector.”
Woodcraft-Scott chaired a panel featuring Muna Al Gurg, director of retail at Al Gurg Group, Najla Al Midfa, founder of Khayarat, and Mariam Farag, head of corporate responsibility at MBC.
In 2011, the 28-year-old Alkhudair left a job at auditor KPMG and set up Glowork to try to solve female unemployment in Saudi Arabia.
The company has built an impressive track record with its offline business securing jobs for over 27,000 Saudi women and engaging over 300 private sector entities.
Glowork’s digital system matches skilled women with opportunities, while devising culturally-sensitive technology that allows women to work virtually from home in rural areas and an online job portal exclusively for female jobseekers.
Alkhudair won the foundation’s Emirates Award for Arabian Gulf Youth (EAAGY).
Speaking at the launch, he said, “We are proud to have won the social enterprise award of Emirates Foundation and appreciate their support in incubating and backing the launch of our online proposition.
“As a social enterprise, our goal is to deliver tangible, measurable social value – in this case giving women much greater access to the workforce and helping private sector entities source top female talent efficiently and effectively.”
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