For many Saudi women, full participation in the workforce remains a much-coveted goal yet to be fulfilled, as both traditions and laws make it nearly impossible for most women to find a job. Despite efforts to increase the percentage of women in the workforce, long entrenched cultural norms and legal restrictions, especially the gender segregation law, are blocking this goal. With increased access to modern education, more than sixty percent of university students are women. In order to create new opportunities for Saudi women in the work force while changing gender roles and perceptions of women, Khalid AlKhudair set up a social business venture called Glowork. According to Saudi law, citizen organizations must have a member of the royal family as its founder and main decision maker.
To achieve the objective of having women represent fifty percent of the Saudi workforce, AlKhudair is working, firstly, with the Saudi Ministry of Labor to change policies that make it difficult for companies to hire women, as well as proposing and passing new laws mandating the hiring of women in several sectors including retail and manufacturing. Second, he is building a platform that fills the gap between job seeking females and companies that are ready to hire women. His organization, Glowork, has worked with unemployment records to build a database of 1.2 million unemployed women. In its first year, AlKhudair created over six thousand vacancies for women by establishing partnerships with both Saudi and International Corporations. He is also launching a series of marketing campaigns that encourage both Saudi men and women to think differently about the role of women in the workplace.