Lubna Olayan is a trailblazer in her own right as the first female to ever be employed by Olayan Financing Co., a company her father owned. But, as a Fortune feature revealed, Olayan’s source of motivation has never been just climbing up the corporate ladder; it’s included making sure she was bringing other women with her.
It took 18 years and a lot of rallying on the part of Olayan, but in 2001, the second woman was hired to be a part of the multinational conglomerate.
“That the arrival took so long reflects the difficult of making changes in a profoundly conservative country where tradition had long kept women out of the workforce almost entirely,” writes reporter Erika Fry. Now over 400 women are employed under Olayan.
While for some the progress made may seem small, bordering on non-existent, it’s still incredibly impactful because it shows that as a whole society is beginning to shift its perception of women. What’s next? Only time will tell, but we’re sure Olayan will continue leading the charge.
Cover image courtesy of Destination Riyadh.