Happiness brings success and not the other way around. Good family values have played a major role in my life, reflected in how I conduct myself today as a daughter, mother and employee, doing the best for myself and those around me.
I was born and raised in Jeddah and am the eldest of seven girls and two boys. My father, Abdul Aziz, was an engineer with the Saudi Electricity Co., and my mother, Badriah, is a housewife who has dedicated her time and energy to raising her children and taking care of her family. My parents shared the same values that have defined what is meaningful to our family.
My siblings and I were encouraged to stay true to ourselves and always do the right thing, regardless of the outcome.
I was always the responsible one and leader of the pack. My parents gave us room to grow organically, giving us leadership, responsibility, and decision-making skills, all lessons and traits I found important and which prepared me for my career path.
I have worked for a leading Saudi bank for 16 years, joining while still attending King Abdul Aziz University. I started in customer services and after four years became a branch manager, a position I held for 10 years.
However, I was at a standstill, so decided to pursue a master’s degree in executive business administration to further my career. My daughter Nora was six years old at the time. I graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in 2017 but did not stop there.
I qualified as a certified international business etiquette and cross-cultural consultant through the International Etiquette and Protocol Academy of London and returned with a lot of support from the bank.
In early 2019, I was assigned as head of the ladies banking division in addition to leading a branch banking transformation program, positions that led me to leave my hometown of Jeddah for Riyadh.
Although I would no longer be surrounded by a large loving family, it was a big and exciting move for me and my daughter. We grew closer, the community was welcoming, and the Saudi capital presented many opportunities.
Riyadh was kind to us from the start. My daughter established good friendships early on in her school, my managers ensured my transition was smooth and easy and they provided me with everything I needed.
Throughout my career, I have always felt that I have been given opportunities and room to grow in an integrated community with a focus on honing personal skills. I have also learned to spot talent and to give back to the community that helped groom young ladies that have high potential in their careers.
I am an adviser and mentor by nature. I try to devote a third of my time to employee development and, when required, mentoring young cadres, and am a good listener, a trait I got from my father.
In November 2019, Saudi Arabia took over the G20 presidency for 2020 and I was honored to be assigned as the deputy chair of the B20 Women in Business Action Council. In February, I was appointed as deputy chair for EMPOWER Alliance (Empowerment and Progression in Women’s Economic Representation), an organization which aims to support the recruitment and advancement of women as business leaders in the private sector.
It has been a privilege working with heads or organizations and business leaders from around the globe with vast experience in different spheres of the business world. Through coordinated work, we are addressing and developing possible solutions to the challenges faced by women in business.
Going forward, I want to show my daughter and other young ladies that success is achieved by devotion and hard work, especially in the Kingdom which is an ideal place for youth and women to grow and succeed.