Saudi women continue their astronomic rise to the top and are now occupying high-rank positions across all levels, both in the kingdom and as representatives abroad.
On Tuesday, Princess Haifa Al-Mogrin joined the ranks after being appointed as the country's permanent representative to the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The kingdom became a member of UNESCO's Executive Council back in November; the country's run is set to continue until 2023.
It doesn't come as a surprise for Al-Mogrin to take on this role as she has occupied similar positions in the past. In fact, she has been the kingdom's assistant deputy minister for G20 Affairs under the Ministry of Economy and Planning since 2018. The University of London graduate has also previously worked with the United Nations Development Program. In 2013, she was promoted to become a UN program analyst focused on covering social development and human rights.
Prior to that, she was appointed as assistant deputy minister for sustainable development affairs in 2017 and served as the head of the sector in the country's Ministry of Economy throughout 2016.
News of the princess' appointment comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has been appointing women in high-ranking positions for the first time in its history.
While the kingdom's top positions continue to be male-dominated, the balance has slowly been shifting in the past few years under the country's Vision 2030. The ambitious blueprint was put forth by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and mainly aims at diversifying the Gulf nation's economy beyond oil-related revenues.
One of its other aims is to empower women and invite them to enter the country's workforce, which they have been doing in huge numbers in the past few months.
The scheme has majorly changed things in the kingdom and is finally giving women the chance to grow their careers and represent their homeland abroad. Here are a few women who took on roles that were previously held by men only:
The country's first female ambassador to the U.S.
In a statement on the princess' assumption of the role, the spokesman for the Saudi embassy in the U.S., Fahad Nazer, said:
"Princess Reema will immediately begin her mission to strengthen the historic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Ambassador will bring a fresh perspective on a rapidly changing Saudi Arabia to Washington, continuing to build on key areas of cooperation between our two countries."
Al-Saud took over the role of her predecessor, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's brother Prince Khaled bin Salman, who went on to become the kingdom's Deputy Minister for Defense.
The first woman to head a publicly traded bank in the kingdom
One of Saudi Arabia's most powerful businesswomen, Lubna Olayan, was announced as the first chairwoman of a publicly listed local bank last June.
Widely considered to be one of the most influential businesswomen in the Middle East, Olayan oversees more than 40 companies under a family-run finance business.
She is the CEO of Olayan Financing Company (OFC), a conglomerate founded by her father in 1947.
The first Saudi woman to hold a municipal role
Eman bint Abdulla Al-Ghamdi became the first female assistant mayor in the kingdom when she assumed the role in Al-Khobar municipality for information technology back in 2017.
She is considered the first woman to hold a municipal post in Saudi Arabia.
The first female foreign embassy spokeswoman
In September 2017, Fatimah S. Baeshen was assigned the role of spokesperson for Saudi Arabia's embassy in the United States.
Baeshen holds a Master's degree from the University of Chicago with a focus on Islamic Finance. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The first woman to head a Saudi airport
In 2017, Saudi businesswoman Hind Al-Zahid was hired as the first woman to be an executive director of the Dammam Airport.
The successful woman had previously served as the executive director of the Women Economic Forum and was listed by Forbes as one of the region's most influential women.
Throughout her impressive career, Al-Zahid has been a powerful advocate for women getting involved in the kingdom's workforce and entrepreneurship.