Women Empowerment and Integration Forum

AccorHotels, one of the world’s leading hotel operators, held its first ‘Women Empowerment and Integration Forum’ at the Sofitel Jeddah.

The event focused on inspiring a new generation of young Saudi women to reach the highest levels of professional development.

The forum, which was open to the public, attracted over 300 attendees including local businesses, NGOs as well as students from the University of Business & Technology (UBT) Jeddah and Dar Al Hekma University. Government officials from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and the Human Resources Development Fund were also on hand in addition to the event being graced by Her Highness Noura Bint Khalid Al Saud.

Salah Oumoudden, vice president of operations at AccorHotels Saudi Arabia and Egypt, said: “Initiatives such as the Women Empowerment and Integration Forum reflect AccorHotels’ core philosophy and our commitment to develop the local human resources of communities which we operate in thereby encouraging women to join the workplace and the hospitality industry."  
Amar Belgat, director of Human Resources & Training at AccorHotels Saudi Arbaia and Egypt, said: “As the leading hotel operator in Saudi Arabia with 20 hotels and 40 in development, we are committed to empowering young female talent; enhancing their skills and helping them reach their full potential within the workplace. We are dedicated to hiring more than 5,000 Saudi nationals over the next five years out of which 30 per cent will be made up of female employees."

Princess Noura Al Saud, representative for Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, said: “As per the directives outlined in Saudi Vision 2030, the empowerment of women is an area that is vital for the further development of the kingdom. The SCTH is delighted to support AccorHotels in this noble endeavor aimed at helping to inspire young women in establishing their careers."

The Women Empowerment and Integration Forum is linked to AccorHotels’ commitment towards diversity and providing equal opportunity across the organization. Through the Women at AccorHotels Generation programme, the group is dedicated towards increasing the percentage of women across the organisation.

In the region, AccorHotels was the first hotel group to develop the Saudi Management Training Program (SMTP), a special management training programme tailor-made to encourage Saudi nationals to enter the hospitality industry. The second edition of the program was the first to include Saudi women, who constitute the majority of this year’s 21 participants. Furthermore, the SMTP is the first international hospitality training module to be recognized and accredited by the SCTH.

Haitham Banawi, head of recruitment at the Human Resources Development Fund, Makkah region, added: “We are proud to be associated with this forum which fits within our goals to develop the skills and capabilities of jobseekers in the Kingdom. Through this initiative we hope to raise further awareness amongst women within KSA on ways through which they can realise their full potential and integrate into the local workforce."

The Women Empowerment and Integration Forum featured workshops by Dr. Solafa Batterjee, CEO of Doroob and an EQ pioneer in Saudi Arabia alongside Dr. Nadia Basheen who serves as Jeddah International College Director. They covered a number of relevant topics including achieving a work-life balance and creating greater employment awareness within public and private sectors in Saudi Arabia.   

Originally published on Trade Arabia