Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud is our new #girlboss. Not only has she completely helped the sports federation in Saudi Arabia for women, she also had to be a voice for others and an entrepreneur all at once.
At the World Economic Forum, when asked about gender equality and the recent developments around that in Saudi Arabia, the Princess said,”Once we exhibit change you come to us with cynicism. I don’t know how to explain how destructive that is. We are so thrilled and excited and the article ends up: ‘This was so fabulous BUT’… why but? Do you say that to anyone else? Is it because we are in the Middle East and there is a history of what you did not feel assimilated to your values? Please understand the values we have are different. They are not right or wrong and they should be honored for what they are.”
And that’s just one of what makes her a role model to Saudi women and the rest of the region.
But it doesn’t end there, here are more reasons why Princess Reema our definite boss lady:
1. She earned herself the coolest degree at George Washington University
Princess Reema graduated from George Washington Univeristy in Washington D.C. with a bachelor’s degree in Museum studies.
2. She’s an entrepreneur at best
In 2005, after returning from the U.S., Princess Reema took over the family business by handling and becoming CEO of Al Hama LLC (luxury retail corporation). Shortly after, she took the duty as CEO of Alfa International for four years.
Apart from all that experience, she also owns the private equity fund Reemiyah, and she co-founded Yibreen (a women’s day spa).
3. She is the first woman to head a multi-sports federation in Saudi Arabia
In 2016, Princess Reema was the first female to be President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports. What an achievement!
4. She was awarded for being the Most Creative Person of the Year in 2014
…by Fast Company for “Inviting Women into the Workforce.
5. That same year, Forbes recognised her as one of 200 Most Powerful Arab Women and Most Powerful Arab Women in Saudi Arabia list
We want to give [women] maximum exposure to health knowledge so that they can have self-knowledge and self-care as a mindset.
Princess Reema, March 2015 (via Quotabelle)
6. She’s a strong advocate for women’s rights (and even gave so many women jobs at Harvey Nichols in Riyadh)
Princess Reema was reportedly responsible for employing more women at Harvey Nichols in Riyadh during her time as the CEO of Al Hama LLC. Apart from this, her highness also brought up childcare services to her employees with young kids, so that women would be supported through an opportunity to earn and still care for their children.
Major claps and it doesn’t even stop there. Before the announcement of lifting the ban on women driving, women couldn’t drive themselves to work. The princess saw this as an opportunity to provide them with a new program to give a stipend for women’s transportation.
7. She’s passionate about her philanthropic work
She is one of the founding members of the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Association that is based in Riyadh. The mission of this association is to increase and share the awareness towards women in the Kingdom to get early detections, prevention and treatment of the cancer.
She also founded Alf Khair, an initiative based on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Her organisation is helping build a community of like-minded creatives and talents by sharing it internationally.