Saudi women conquer yet another male bastion


Saudi Gazette

— After proving their professionalism in many sectors in the labor market, Saudi women have entered a field hitherto considered a male-oriented area.

The logistics and supply chain management sector had always been considered too demanding a field for a woman to survive.

“There is a global stereotype that women will be unable to step into the field of logistics and supply chain management,” said Nouf Khaled, an operations supervisor in one of the biggest companies involved in importing construction material to the Kingdom.

“I want to change the global mindset about women working in the logistics sector,” she told Saudi Gazette on the sidelines of the Saudi Supply Chain Conference in Riyadh on Nov. 13-14.

“I personally struggled a lot before I got a job in this field. I applied for a job in more than 30 companies, but I was not accepted in any. That is why I thank my company for giving me such a golden opportunity,” she said, adding that even if a company hires a female in this sector, she is not given the opportunity for decision-making or solving issues.

Speaking of her experience, she said: “I have been working in this field for the past four years. I chose this field because I love shipping and transportation.”

After she proved herself in this male-dominated sector, Nouf has been given the responsibility of transporting construction material from ports to warehousing units or from one warehousing unit to another.

“I am also responsible for truck fleet management including trading and maintenance,” she said.

Saudi women are eager to enter this field, especially after the University of Dammam created a diploma in supply chain management.

“I discovered that Saudi women are capable of handling tough tasks. However, I found that women with a diploma in supply chain management could not find jobs because the private sector still prefers men in supply chain and logistics,” Nouf said.

“We must change this mindset. The Kingdom is adopting initiatives to empower women in all sectors. I have hope that the future of Saudi women in supply chain and logistics will be bright,” said Nouf, who has started initiatives to encourage Saudi women to enter the field and to encourage companies to accept that women are up to the expectations in this field.