Saudi Arabia's First Female CFO

All of the steps that are coming will come at their own stride. When it was permitted for women to stay in hotels without a guardian it came because in order for them to participate in the workforce, they saw the need to liberate women from some of the obstacles.

LS: But what are some of those obstacles you have to get around? Can you go to court and file your own deals?

SAK: When you have a company you don't have to do these things yourself. Any filing, any court papers, you don't deal with them yourself. You have somebody else who deals with them, so I don't see them as obstacles.

I work along with all of the men as a partner, equal partner. I do my work, I travel inside and outside, I don't see anything as an obstacle, because any obstacle you see you have a way of working around it. That's what we've done throughout these years, we have worked around the obstacles.

Of course, what happens is when you're dealing with some parties who are not as accepting towards women, you have a way of working around that. You deal with our own work, your operations and that's what I'm dealing with.

LS: Do your daughters know what they want to do when they grow up?

SAK: Not yet, but when I see my daughters now, we always talk about this. Of course, being a working mother has its pros and it has its cons. You can't have everything. You can't be a complete working mother and put 100 percent in your work and you can't be a mother at home and a wife, and give all to your home. But what happens is, this equilibrium that I'm trying to reach, has given my daughters a kind of confidence in women. They see their mother capable of interacting, capable or reaching a certain level, and they see that as somebody that they would like to be. Of course, I would like them to surpass me, to do better than I did and I always see myself as paving the way for my daughters, paving the way for my students, for them to have a better tomorrow, for them to have a better future, for them to participate more and more.

What's really amazing to me is we see companies now springing out in Saudi Arabia, opting for women. More and more companies want women to head different sectors of the company. So they see women as a large potential, which hasn't been utilized, and I think in the future more and more women will participate. We see them more maybe in middle-management level, but I think the future will hold that more and more Saudi women will hold larger positions, higher positions, in companies and I see that as the future for us.

LS: I think you're paving the way for a lot of people.

SAK: I hope so.

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