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Saudi Arabia: Cautious narrowing of gender gap responds to social shift

The 29 April announcement by Saudi Aramco of the appointment of its first female board member, former Sunoco chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, has been widely reported as a landmark as the national oil company prepares for its planned initial public offering (IPO), which is seen as central to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS)’s plans to overhaul the economy. Even though Elsenhans is American, her appointment was also seen to represent MBS’s promotion of women in work, which has come to symbolise his widely spun commitment to accelerated social change.

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