Saudi women are pursuing their passion in the sciences, thanks to the encouragement of women's exploration of the sciences. In addition to being the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia is the second-largest member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, covering two million square kilometers of land. In just the fourth quarter of 2021, oil-related activities increased 10.8 percent in the Kingdom, states the General Authority of Statistics.
According to Reem Al-Sadoun, a 26-year-old petroleum engineer, "Growing up with both parents working in the oil industry, I heard stories about the discovery of the first commercially viable well, No. 7, in the 1930s, commonly dubbed the Prosperity Well, and how that transformed the Kingdom into the prosperous nation it is today.
" After graduating from the University of New South Wales with a degree in petroleum engineering in 2018, she began her career with Saudi Aramco with funding from the Saudi Aramco College Degree Program for Non-Employees. She has always had a passion for mathematics and the sciences, which led her to studies and a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, according to Arab News.
"Since joining Saudi Aramco three years ago, I have been an active volunteer with the Society of Petroleum Engineers — Kingdom of Saudi Arabia section, currently the largest SPE section in the world," she added. Al-Sadoun decided to major in energy due to its ubiquitous nature as well as the fact that its by-products drive global economies. She is not surprised to see women making strides in various industries under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030.
"Vision 2030 reforms increased women's representation and created myriad opportunities that I believe will continue to grow female participation in the sciences, which in turn will lead to massive social and economic gains for the Saudi economy as a whole."
In view of the fact that women represent half of the population, empowering them contributes to the empowerment of the nation, she says. Generation after generation, the Kingdom has demanded equal empowerment for today's youth, and has encouraged the workforce to contribute to the country's wealth.
"The oil and gas industry is driven by market forces of supply and demand, and as is evident the world's demand for energy will only continue to increase," Al-Sadoun said.
According to her,"This demand can be met by petroleum engineers. However, the role of a petroleum engineer is also changing, which presents even more opportunities for future women engineers. Historically we have been concerned with the extraction and production of hydrocarbons; recently this role has also expanded to the development of methods to capture and store carbon dioxide to reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases."
Al-Sadoun expressed her wish for the younger generation that they will pursue their dreams of becoming scientists despite being hesitant. She continued by saying that the female population should influence the world "to become the change we wish to see."
"In addition to the tremendous support I received from my country, I am grateful to have the infinite support of my family and friends. And the opportunities and accolades presented to me by my job at Saudi Aramco and by my fellow female petroleum engineers, which makes me value the career path I've chosen and the life it has created for me," Al-Sadoun added