“We realized that a mentorship program could be a transformative power that has a ripple effect and helps to shape the careers and aspirations of women who are breaking barriers and forging paths towards leadership,” says Jamila El Dajani, chair of the AmCham Saudi Arabia Women in Business Committee.
El Dajani knew that special care was needed to develop a successful mentoring program that met Saudi needs in an honorable way. “In the kingdom, we have unique issues to what may exist around the world,” says El Dajani. “For example, in a social environment where segregation has been a profound element, gender gaps can be unique. Age gaps are reflected differently in a society where there is a strong hierarchy of respect based on age. And cultural gaps, which limit self-disclosure, make the obstacles to building effective mentor/mentee relationships more difficult.”