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Sat 30 Mar 2019 10:53 AM

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Saudi women's jobs lagging behind skills, says Princess Reem

Saudi Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud said that many women may lack understanding of the skills needed by the market

Saudi women's jobs lagging behind skills, says Princess Reem
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to create 450,000 employment for women.

There continues to be a “disparity” between the education and skills of Saudi women and the jobs they attain, according to Saudi Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Dr. Al Saud - a member of Saudi Arabia’s permanent delegation to the United Nations in New York – said that the problem is largely due to the fact that women “have been under-represented in the workforce for a very long time.”

“Their entrance into the labour market has historically not been on an equal footing with men,” she added. “While steps can be taken to level the playing field, we have to take into consideration that women with late entry into the labour market may lack in understanding the skills needed by the market.”

As a result, Dr. Al Saud said, there exists a disparity between women’s education and skills and their “sub-optimal” employment opportunities, which are often limited to the public, education and not-for-profit sectors.

Additionally, Dr. Al Saud remarked that employers contribute to the disparity by allowing bias in the hiring process.

“Their limited experience with what women are capable of bringing into the labor force is the main cause of this,” she said. “Women who are employed in the private sector are occupying low-skill jobs and earning minimum wage.”

“Clearly, this level of employment is not the path to climbing an ambitious career ladder that matches both their skills and their ambitions,” she added.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to create 450,000 employment for women.

Already, women’s participation in the labour force rose from 12 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2017.