Position: CEO, Olayan Financing Company, Saudi Arabia
The Olayan Financing Company now operates and actively participates in more than 40 companies. OFC is a private multinational enterprise engaged in distribution, manufacturing, services and investments. Lucrative Middle East distribution franchises for brands include Colgate-Palmolive, Burger King, Nestle and Coca-Cola while international partners comprise BP Solar, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan.
OFC is also one of the largest investors in the Saudi and regional stock markets. No wonder both Forbes and Time magazines have named Olayan as one of the world's most influential women in the past year.
Olayan is also well known for her championing of women's rights. At the Jeddah Economic Forum in 2004 she was the first woman to speak at a "mixed" conference in Saudi Arabia and delivered a speech reminiscent of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream".
"My vision is of a country with a prosperous and diversified economy in which any Saudi citizen, irrespective of gender who is serious about finding employment, can find a job in the field for which he or she is best qualified, leading to a thriving middle class and in which all Saudi citizens, residents or visitors to the country feel safe and can live in an atmosphere where mutual respect and tolerance exist among all, regardless of their social class, religion or gender."
The special report
Arabian Businesswomen 2008 - Celebrating Excellence
aims to celebrate the achievements of women in commerce and trade in the region and globally.
Click here to view more
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.