Spotlight on leadership in changing times
Metin Mitchell, Managing Partner, and guest contributors
We have recently launched our report, Roads to the Top for Saudi Women, based on interviews with extraordinary Saudi females.
Could chief financial officers (CFOs) become redundant? That was the question I posed at the CFO Strategies Forum in Dubai last week. And the answer? Well, no-one believes CFOs will be redundant – not yet. But everyone recognises the impact of artificial intelligence on the accounting function and the need for the CFO to develop and change considerably. But how?
I am delighted to be speaking at the CFO Strategies Forum in Dubai, on 15/16 November along with 150 invited CEOs, CFOs (chief financial officers) and C-suite executives.
How important are men to the success of women in Saudi?
When I interviewed a number of leading women for our report, Roads to the top for Saudi Women, they all talked in different ways about how their male family members had played an important role in their successes.
Saudi Vision 2030 commits the Kingdom to increase the number of women in the workforce to 30 per cent. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is clear on his goals, saying, “My first objective is for our country to be a pioneering and successful global model of excellence, on all fronts, and I will work…to achieve that.”
How can corporates contribute?
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals aim to increase the number of women in the workforce to 30 per cent. All areas of government have been tasked with delivering the strategy, and plans include many ambitious projects such as the scheme to turn a number of Saudi islands into a luxury tourist report.
Women driving, a street party in Riyadh’s main drag Tahlia Street, new forms of taxation and a relentless push towards modernisation and diversification of the economy are leaving external observers of Saudi Arabia as breathless as those trying to make sense of President Trump’s daily flurry of tweets.
In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg talks about how women are often held back in the workplace. Ms Sandberg’s words come from her experience in the USA, but they are just as applicable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Over recent months I have been honoured to interview leading Saudi women for our report, Roads to the Top for Saudi Women.
There were so many insights from these inspirational women, I am delighted that Dr Amal Fatani has allowed us to share wider views from her interview than we could include in the report.
Metin Mitchell interview with Dubai Eye on Roads to the Top for Saudi Women
Metin Mitchell was interviewed by Dubai Eye radio last month, about the role of women for the future of the Gulf region.
I have been privileged to interview a number of inspirational Saudi female leaders in public, private and non-profit organisations for our new report Roads to the Top for Saudi Women (you can download free from this link). Like these women, I believe Saudi will see a transformation in the workforce over the next decade.
I am frequently asked this question, is it the end of the road for ex-patriates in the GCC?
Given what is being written about ex-patriates and the economies of the GCC at the moment it is an entirely legitimate question – these articles by Simeon Kerr of the FT and Sarah Townsend of Arabian Business give a good overview of the issues. But the answer is not straightforward.