Rania Nashar | The First Women CEO of Saudi Arabia


Rania Nashar is the first Saudi Arabian woman CEO of a listed Saudi Arabian bank and the chair of the B20 Women in Business Action Council.

Saudi Arabian First CEO Rania Nashar wears black hijab
Rania Nashar completed her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Information Technology and she was always interested in finance. Then, she started working at Samba Financial Group, managing the audit and risk review functions for the group’s business and operation areas. Working at Samba Bank seemed very attractive to her, as it is the only bank with female employees. And, with her leadership goals, she thought it would be easier for her to rise to a leadership position rather than other banks.

Development Steps of Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, where women’s rights have not been given for many years, developments have started to show in the last decade. The Vision 2030 announced in 2016, includes that women and men will be given equal opportunities. And to boost the economy, increasing the place of women in business life was among the goals. So, Rania took this opportunity and aimed for herself to be one of the leading names in this project.

Through her determined personality and managing a successful business, the company decided to take her to the position of CEO. She was very surprised by this decision, but it made her very proud that women eventually took part in the leadership and she became one of the pioneers. A year after she became CEO, she increased profits by 10 percent, bringing the highest profit since the bank’s foundation.

Rania Nashar gives a speech
Her name was listed on Forbes magazine as one of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and Forbes Middle East named her one of Most Influential Women in 2018.

“I have to not only prove to myself that a bank of Samba’s size can be run by a female CEO – and can achieve the best results in its history – I have to prove it for all the women in Saudi Arabia and in the world. I hope that I can be an honorable portrait of Saudi women.”

Rania Nashar wearing black  hijab
Nashar became the chair of The Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (Empower) Alliance, which is launched at the G20 Osaka Summit in 2019 to promote to increase female empowerment and the number of women in leadership positions.

“It has been a remarkable year for gender equality and women empowerment. Together, we will make a difference in this field and support Empower in ensuring gender equality.”

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