“The Saudi Aramco Team Series kicked off in the UK in July, moved to Spain in August, then to the USA in October, concluding in Jeddah in November.”Sports sponsorships are many, but not all have the same effect. What distinguishes the Saudi Aramco Women’s Golf Team Series as an innovative competition is that it simultaneously represents an important opportunity for golf and for women at the international level, for women in Saudi Aramco, and in the Kingdom.
Over the past few years, women in the Kingdom have benefited from social progress, and some women have had the opportunity to play golf with the encouragement and support of the state. for 1,000 women.
For Saudi Aramco, it has a long history in this game that extends back to more than seven decades when we established the Rolling Hills Golf Club for the employees of Dhahran in 1949. Years before that, passion drove our ambitious employees to create their own informal walkways between the sand dunes.
Our role in sponsoring the “Saudi Aramco Team Series” stems from our support for sports in general and golf in particular, but at the same time it revolves around our support for the advancement of women. We are proud of the role we play in empowering women, providing them with opportunities at multiple levels and disciplines, and encouraging them to work at Saudi Aramco, because we know that their contribution is an added value that makes us more diverse and, therefore, more successful.
Saudi Aramco included women as employees for the first time in 1964, and the company’s history contains many notable achievements: the first female employee was sent on a study mission abroad in 1981, the company’s first female CEO was appointed in 2012, and the first woman on the board of directors was appointed in In 2018, and in the same year, the company launched a unit dedicated to training women to drive cars. Today, women occupy multiple leadership roles at Saudi Aramco, with two of our female employees running two regional offices, one in Singapore and one in London.
In our latest statistics, 50% of our employees with university degrees are women, and this prompted Saudi Aramco’s president and chief executive, Amin Hassan Al-Nasser, to foresee the future that “a woman will take over the presidency of Saudi Aramco one day.”
Women have a distinguished presence in various fields in the company, ranging from engineers, research scientists, inventors, and specialists in communication management, loss prevention, and firefighting. As one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemical companies, we follow up and urge our suppliers and partners to hire more women, and, through the Saudi Aramco Undergraduate Certificate Program, support high-level female science students. To help women find professional and technical careers, we have also established the leading internationally accredited National Academy, a non-profit training institution.
Saudi Aramco believes in the work-life balance, and in the important role that sports activities such as golf play, which the company has translated into reality by establishing several golf courses in the Kingdom. By establishing and sponsoring the Saudi Aramco series of teams, we establish a solid foundation that raises the definition of golf and women’s sports to an advanced level, showing the world our interest in balancing physical and mental health, and providing the opportunity for women to participate in all aspects of life.
In many sports, people are used to the fact that male and female golfers do not receive the same amount of honors or prize money. But we aim to change that through the Saudi Aramco Series of Teams. Consisting of four tournaments, this series forms part of the Women’s European Tour Championships and features some of the world’s best female golfers, such as Lexi Thompson, Georgia Hall and Anna Nordqvist. The total prize pool for the Saudi Aramco Team Series represents approximately 20% of the potential prize money for the 2021 European Tour Women’s Championship.
The prize money is one of the core elements of the Saudi Aramco series of teams, but what catches the eye is its highly innovative four-player squad, where the professional leader chooses one member, the third member is chosen by ballot, and a golfer is chosen An amateur as a fourth player. In addition, the Saudi Aramco Team Series includes grassroots initiatives that give all girls, without discrimination, the possibility to play golf.
The popularity of golf around the world means that the Saudi Aramco chain of teams has the ability to reach a large audience in a way that reinforces the discourse in our societies about the role and empowerment of women, and makes golf possible for more people.
The Saudi Aramco Team Series Championship experience last November saw Moroccan Maha Haddawi, the first Arab professional golfer, and so far the only Arab woman to play on the European Women’s Tour, in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, we expect the Saudi Aramco Team Chain to be a powerful platform through which to promote the excellence and empowerment of women, and the game of golf. We are sure that many people, including children, will enjoy watching The Teams Series. We hope this image inspires a new generation of women managers, engineers, scientists – and perhaps even – the first female CEO of Saudi Aramco, or the next champion of the Women’s European Tour.
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