There continues to be a “disparity” between the education and skills of Saudi women and the jobs they attain, Saudi Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud told sister title Arabian Business.
Dr. Al Saud - a member of Saudi Arabia’s permanent delegation to the United Nations in New York – said that the problem is largely due to the fact that women “have been under-represented in the workforce for a very long time”.
Currently, female participation rate in the tourism sector is currently 22%. However, KSA is working on decreasing that gap.
“Their entrance into the labour market has historically not been on an equal footing with men,” she added. “While steps can be taken to level the playing field, we have to take into consideration that women with late entry into the labour market may lack in understanding the skills needed by the market.”
As a result, Dr. Al Saud said, there exists a disparity between women’s education and skills and their “sub-optimal” employment opportunities, which are often limited to the public, education and not-for-profit sectors.
Additionally, Dr. Al Saud remarked that employers contribute to the disparity by allowing bias in the hiring process. “Their limited experience with what women are capable of bringing into the labor force is the main cause of this,” she said. “Women who are employed in the private sector are occupying low-skill jobs and earning minimum wage.”
“Clearly, this level of employment is not the path to climbing an ambitious career ladder that matches both their skills and their ambitions,” she added.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to create 450,000 employment for women.
Already, women’s participation in the labour force rose from 12 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2017.
Additionally, Saudi’s director general of the National Centre for Tourism Human Resources Development, Nasser Al-Nashmi said that the centre has trained more than 9,000 women through its various programmes. The centre will train 25,000 women by 2020, which includes 1,400 tour guides, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“There are 8,108 tourism graduates in the Kingdom and there are plans to increase the number by 10 percent in the upcoming years,” he said.