Saudi Arabia: Spotlight on the Women’s Skills Bureau

An expatriate man receives an opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia which is beneficial and career enhancing…for him.  His wife may have had a career and/or special skills of her own which she performed prior to relocating to Saudi Arabia.  She is now in Saudi Arabia as a dependent spouse and not sure where or how to start looking for a position where she can utilize her skills and talents.  Here is where the Women’s Skill Bureau can help.

American Bedu is honored to have the opportunity to interview individuals who have been tantamount in the creation and development of the Women’s Skill Bureau and its website offering hope and opportunities for expatriate women.

For an introduction, the Women’s Skills Bureau  (www.wsb-ksa.com) is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. It is a website that has been created by an international group of expat spouses to address the dilemma of capable individuals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with needed skills and the desire to share those skills with the community finding opportunities available to them.

We link expat spouses with potential local individuals and companies who would have volunteer and job opportunities available.

“Getting People Together for the Good of All”

To begin with, thanks for giving me the opportunity to ask questions about the genesis of the Women’s Skill Bureau.  Can you start with giving some background on how challenging or difficult it had been for a dependent spouse in Saudi Arabia to find viable employment opportunities prior to establishment of the Women’s Skill Bureau?

Because women in the Kingdom without work visas cannot officially hold a job, available employment opportunities tend to be word of mouth so lack of access is a major challenge. WSB has created a platform through our website: wsb-ksa.com which enables employers to post opportunities and women to post their skills and CVs.

Is there a fee for using the Women’s Skill Bureau to find employment opportunities?

No, there is no fee to use WSB.  WSB is proud to be a nonprofit organization run by volunteers for the benefit of the community

What are the typical types of positions in demand which can be filled by a dependent spouse?

As to be expected, the job postings fluctuate with the market needs. We have had everything from financial analyst to teaching to health fields to administration and PR positions.

We are always surprised by the positions available and the variety of qualified individuals here in Riyadh.

What are the minimal professional requirements a dependent spouse must hold in order to submit a CV to the Women’s Skill Bureau?

There are no minimal professional requirements to submit a CV however, depending on position applied for, certain educational levels and experience may be specified by the employer.

What are the most sought after qualifications local employers look for?  (ie, Arabic language; special programming skills; teaching)

It depends upon the position.  In general employers are looking for solid verbal and written English skills.  Educational positions may require a teaching certificate.

Can a dependent spouse submit a CV to the Women’s Skill Bureau for either full time or part time work?

Yes. We are currently encouraging flexibility in the positions as the demands of life here require of spouses.

Are most employers which use the Women’s Skills Bureau Saudi companies and entities?

No, it varies according to market needs, however, as we live in Saudi Arabia we obviously have many opportunities posted by Saudis.

Are there any distinctions on how a resume or cover letter should be formatted to meet the expectations of the Saudi market?  Is it recommended to provide age or religion in a resume for work in the Kingdom?  Why or why not?

This is at the discretion of the individual. However, international standards would never require an individual to provide age or religion when applying for a professional position as it is not relevant for employment

In closing, what are your top five tips for a dependent spouse to find the perfect position and fit in the Saudi market?

1. Check out our website:  wsb-ksa.com for the latest job postings and to submit skills and CV

2. Identify and assess your skill set and experience as it relates to the job requirements

3. Decide how much time you can realistically devote to a job, full or part time, and look for those opportunities

4. Try to research the company, industry or position if listed in the job description

5. Network with friends in the community to determine if anyone might be familiar and can lend insight into the the positions/employers listed on WSB

Are there any additional comments you’d like to add?

We have found that spouses do not just post their skills but use the site to find individuals they need as well.  If a person is trying to find a piano teacher, fitness instructor, graphic designer, landscape consultant etc. the site is the perfect solution to finding qualified people in a big city with a large expat  community without relying on just your circle of friends and acquaintances.

We are continually upgrading our site to accommodate the community’s needs.  We are encouraging flexibility from employers as many spouses here with great qualifications cannot work the standard hours although they have much to contribute to the workforce.

We are currently working on joining the social media sites to encourage greater participation and exposure for our members.  We are part of the community for the benefit of the community and adapt according to the needs here and always open to suggestions.

As we are a volunteer group we survive by sponsorships.  We have access to a unique group of individuals – educated, prosperous families living in Saudi Arabia – A demographic hard to target due to the diversity of media here. We welcome advertisements (at extremely good rates) from organizations targeting these markets.   Limited spaces are available.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO CHECK OUT ON LINE, PLEASE VISIT – http://www.wsb-ksa.com

Thanks again for giving American Bedu this opportunity to highlight the Women’s Skills Bureau.

 

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5 Responses

  1. “We link expat spouses with potential local individuals and companies who would have volunteer and job opportunities available.”

    Sounds like an excellent program!!!

  2. Saudi’s personal version of monster.com 🙂 best of luck to your endevour and may many many women benefit …

  3. I commend the efforts of the WSB however I have noticed there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of job posts outside of the teaching field. Teaching is not suitable to everyone. I do however understand that is simply the nature of jobs here in Saudi for women, they are extremely limited even among the ex-pat community.

  4. The establishment and efforts of the Women’s Skills Bureau will likely result in expanded opportunities for women in the Kingdom as all these talented women showcase their skills and expertise! (smile)

  5. I am an American Citizen, who’s been here in Riyadh for over fifteen years , I’ll b more than happy to teach English for Saudi, or non Saudis. For me this is the only job I have seen suitable for women here considering the security issues, but I’ve noticed when I started teaching some students that Saudi girls refuse to come to my residence for the lessons considering it not safe to go to anyones home, and they’de rather have you go over their home, but be aware when you want to go to anyone resident, check on their location, the family status, the parents…..etc. Any one needs an English Tutor, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Mrs. Sahar (966-0558290699)…. Best of luck to me and to all of you in locating the job you need.

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