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Women make up third of Saudi Arabia’s workforce

Saudi Arabia's workforce

Women currently constitute 33% of the Saudi Arabia’s total workforce, “nearly double what it was five years ago,” Reuters reported.

Women of different age groups and educational levels are accepted to work in jobs that were previously restricted to men and “expat workers,” such as restaurants, supermarkets, accounting firms and “graphic design.”

A small number of women had long worked in Saudi Arabia but typically held public sector jobs as teachers or medical workers, in keeping with once-strict gender segregation rules, according to Reuters.

With the easing of restrictions regarding mixing of the sexes, and women being allowed to drive, several companies began to employ more women.

The Saudi government recently decided to work on the “Saudisation” of jobs, meaning hiring Saudis instead of expatriate workers, in an attempt to reduce the unemployment rate, which now stands at 11%.

With regard to the guardianship of men over women in Saudi Arabia, there is a kind of flexibility, according to the agency, and there are companies that employ women after obtaining permission and approval from their guardian.

According to research conducted by economist Jennifer Beck, the number of Saudi women in the private sector is about 935,000 in 2021, compared to 56,000 in 2010, and the number continues to rise.

The foundation also talked about the gender pay gap, and that most new jobs for women are low-paying.

An employer in a large company told Reuters that he preferred to hire women because they “work twice as hard for half the pay.”

The state facilitates the fields of work for everyone who is able to, and enacts regulations that protect the worker and the employer.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has prepared the “employment strategy” to be a reference framework for addressing Saudi Arabia’s workforce issues in the Kingdom according to an integrated methodological and scientific basis, and a clear vision to achieve the desired goals.

The government sector has launched a number of initiatives to qualify and train Saudi men and women according to the needs of the labor market to enhance and develop their capabilities.


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