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Saudi Women are Appointed to the Board of Major Saudi Companies

The world’s top oil company in Saud Arabia has appointed for first time in Arabian history a female executive member to its board.

Saudi Arabia's government in search of international experience plans to offer next year 2019, around five percent of Aramco's share to the public.

The only woman among the five new members of Aramco’s board, the worlds’ biggest oil company, was named by Forbes in 2008 as one of the world’s most powerful women.

Lynn Laverty Elsenhans is the former Chairperson, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sunoco. She has been also the executive vice president of global manufacturing for Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), where she worked for more than 28 years.

Elsenhans also has served on Baker Hughes’s board of directors from 2012 to July 2017 and sits on the board of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L).

Only a handful of Saudi women are appointed to the board of major Saudi companies but that is slowly changing in the conservative kingdom, where women are subject to a male guardianship system which in many cases restricts their opportunities to work.

Last year, the Saudi Stock Exchange appointed Sarah Al-Suhaimi, as its first female chair. She was the first woman to chair a major government financial institution in the kingdom.

In 2004, Lubna Olayan became the first woman to be elected to the board of Saudi Hollandi Bank, now called Alawwal Bank 1040.SE. In 2006, Lubna was one of four new appointments by PIF to the board of Ma’aden 1211.SE, the Gulf’s largest miner.

The Olayan family controls one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates.

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