GE recognized for path-breaking All-Women Business Center in Riyadh
‘Exceptionally proud of our Saudi female talent who are engaged in diverse career paths,’ says GE CEO Albahkali
General Electric has won a prestigious award from the US State Department in recognition for its path-breaking initiative of the All-Women Business Process & IT Services Center in Riyadh.
The all-women center is a partnership between GE, Saudi Aramco and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), employing 1,000 women, 600 of them working on projects for GE.
Launched in September 2013, the all-women center celebrated the milestone of employing 1,000 women in March 2016, with a target of hiring 3,000 women in the coming years.
GE and Saudi Aramco are anchor clients of the center, with services now extended to include Saudi Telecom Company and the Saudi Ministry of Economy & Planning.
Supporting Vision 2030
The center in Riyadh is working on expanding its scale, by exploring opportunities with potential customers in the government and private sectors. This directly supports Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to increase the female workforce participation from 22 to 30 per cent in the coming years.
The US Secretary of State’s global 2016 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) is presented to US firms that uphold the highest standards of responsible business conduct in their global operations.
ACE nominations are focused on the exemplary operations of a company in a specific country with the nominations made by US embassies and consulates.
Tony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, presented the award to GE at a ceremony held in Washington DC.
On GE receiving the award, Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt said: “GE is honored to receive the prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence from the State Department and to be recognized for our inclusive hiring practices in Saudi Arabia. The All-Women Business Process Center is an innovative solution that enabled us not only to provide career opportunities for the well-educated and talented Saudi females but also to build in-country capabilities that’ll have lasting impact, in what is an important market going through transformative changes.”
Focus on localization, talent development
Hisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “We are exceptionally proud of our Saudi female talent who are engaged in diverse career paths – from engineers to lawyers to roles in our all-women shared services center. Focused on localization and Saudi talent development, we work with our partners to support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 by accelerating the participation of Saudi women in the workforce. Inclusive hiring is part of our corporate commitment and the all-women center is a vital component of our talent ecosystem.”
The staff at the center includes graduates, post-graduates and doctorate holders, demonstrating the high professional standards achieved by Saudi women. To build their skills further, over 610,000 cumulative hours of intensive training sessions have been conducted in various disciplines.
With a presence of over 80 years, three offices and seven facilities, Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 2,000 employees driving the Aviation, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Power & Water and Transportation businesses.