General Electric (NYSE: GE) has won the US Secretary of State’s global 2016 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for its inclusive hiring practices in Saudi Arabia underlined by the All-Women Business Process & IT Services Center in Riyadh.
The prestigious annual ACE is presented to US firms that uphold the highest standards of responsible business conduct in their global operations. ACE nominations are focused on the exemplary operations of a company in a specific country with the nominations made by US embassies and consulates. Tony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, presented the award to GE at a ceremony held in Washington DC.
Announced in September 2013, the ground-breaking all-women center is a partnership between GE, Saudi Aramco and TCS. The center celebrated the milestone of employing 1,000 women in March 2016, with a target of hiring 3,000 women in the coming years. GE and Saudi Aramco are anchor clients of the center, with services now extended to include Saudi Telecom Company and the Saudi Ministry of Economy & Planning.
Currently around 600 employees work exclusively on projects for GE as part of Global Operations, GE’s multi-functional shared services organization. At the core of the GE Store, Global Operations is a critical enabler of the Company’s simplification efforts. A very diverse team, Global Operations has 8,000+ employees around the world, comprising 99 nationalities, 62% of whom are women. The all-women team in Saudi Arabia delivers 23 shared services operations such as Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Supply Chain Management, Information Technology and Enterprise Data Management, for more than 50 GE locations world-wide.
The center in Riyadh is working on expanding its scale, by exploring opportunities with potential customers in the government and private sectors. This directly supports Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to increase the female workforce participation from 22 to 30 per cent in the coming years.
On GE receiving the award, Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt said: “GE is honored to receive the prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence from the State Department and to be recognized for our Inclusive Hiring Practices in Saudi Arabia. The All-Women Business Process Center is an innovative solution that enabled us not only to provide career opportunities for the well-educated and talented Saudi females but also to build in-country capabilities that’ll have lasting impact, in what is an important market going through transformative changes. Of course, we thank the US State Department for their ongoing support in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world.”
Hisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said: “We are exceptionally proud of our Saudi female talent who are engaged in diverse career paths – from engineers to lawyers to roles in our all-women shared services center. Focused on localization and Saudi talent development, we work with our partners to support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 by accelerating the participation of Saudi women in the workforce. Inclusive hiring is part of our corporate commitment and the all-women center is a vital component of our talent ecosystem.”
The staff at the center includes graduates, post-graduates and doctorate holders, demonstrating the high professional standards achieved by Saudi women. To build their skills further, over 610,000 cumulative hours of intensive training sessions have been conducted in various disciplines.
With a presence of over 80 years, three offices and seven facilities, Saudi Arabia accounts for the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 2,000 employees driving the Aviation, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Power & Water and Transportation businesses.