Arabian Business Power 500 2013
Thu 21 Mar 2013 10:28 AM
Lubna Olayan

Lubna Olayan

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Olayan Financing Company

Designation: CEO

Country: Saudi Arabia

You could never accuse Lubna Olayan of not standing up for the rights of Arab women.

Earlier this year, at Davos, she joined a select panel of some of the planet’s most powerful women to discuss the ‘glass ceiling’.

“We have to get the CEOs in major Arab countries to be convinced to hire women and mentor women, because that is what we need,” she said.

As the CEO of the Riyadh-based Olayan Financing Company, Lubna Olayan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most prolific businesswomen. The group, which was founded by her father in 1947, is one of the kingdom’s most successful conglomerates. The firm is also one of the largest investors in the Saudi and regional stock markets. Olayan sits on the board of trustees of the Arab Thought Foundation - a Beirut-based think tank focusing on issues facing the Arab world - and is a member of the board of Al Fanar, which supports grassroots organisations in the Arab world. She is also involved with academic institutions such as INSEAD, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Effat College for Women.