In recent years, Saudi Arabia has seen a remarkable increase in the participation of women in the private sector. This shift is fueled by a combination of factors, including proactive government policies advocating for women’s economic empowerment, rising educational attainment among Saudi women, and increased demand for female labor in the private sector. As a result, from late 2018 to the end of 2022, the labor force participation rate for Saudi women has been on the rise, moving from 20 percent to 35 percent.

Recognizing this positive dynamic, the Atlantic Council’s Women Innovators Fellowship (WIn) hosted a workshop titled ‘The rising female workforce in Saudi Arabia and its impact on the private sector’. The workshop took place on Tuesday, July 25th, from 12:00-1:00 pm ET/7:00-8:00 pm KSA Time.

The WIn Fellowship is led by the Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative in cooperation with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with support from US Embassy in Riyadh and PepsiCo.

Our yearlong program, running from June 2023 to March 2024, is providing thirty-four Saudi women entrepreneurs the opportunity to extend their networks, gain practical knowledge, and develop meaningful US-Saudi people-to-people and business ties. This will empower them to scale their businesses at the local, regional, and global levels. The Atlantic Council is also set to produce publications featuring insights, case studies, and policy recommendations as part of the program.

Welcome remarks

Amjad Ahmad
Chairman, empowerME
Atlantic Council

Keynote speakers

H.R.H. Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud
Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the United States

Michael Ratney
Embassy of the United States to Saudi Arabia


Dena Elkhatib
General Counsel
Riyadh Air

Hattan Ahmed
Entrepreneurship Director
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Wael Ismail
Vice President of Corporate Affairs

Moderated by

Hanaa Almoaibed
Vice President for Research
The Arab Institute for Women’s Empowerment

Explore the WIn Fellowship



empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is shaping solutions to empower entrepreneurs, women, and youth and building coalitions of public and private partnerships to drive regional economic integration, prosperity, and job creation.