Photo: Connor McCourtney
About 40 students and faculty members attended the second lecture in the Principal Financial Center for Global Citizenship spring 2011 “Global Perspectives” series. Mohammed Alshagawi, assistant professor of strategic management at King Faisal University in Hofuf, Saudi Arabia, led the lecture titled “Saudi Women Entrepreneurs: Are They Still Standing in the Shadows?”
The lecture discussed the economic participation of women in Saudi Arabia. Alshagawi explained that women’s participation in the economy is still lacking. Saudi Arabia’s female participation is the lowest in the world as a result of cultural, political and social barriers restricting women from entering the workforce.
Saudi Arabia is ranked 132 among 134 countries in terms of female economic participation and opportunity. Entrepreneurship could provide opportunities for women to create their own jobs regardless of women’s limitations in Saudi Arabia.
“I thought it was interesting. It is hard to imagine being in their shoes,” junior Christine Setsodi said, “being born into such a strict culture and trying to fight so hard for something that comes easy to us. It is amazing how we can just go get a job, we don’t have to fight for basic rights.”
Alshagawi spoke about why it is important for students to learn about different global perspectives.
“Education at the moment is a global perspective,” he said. “It is important for students to understand global relations and the Middle East. It is also important to understand part of what is happening and why it is happening.”
Mohammed Alshagawi is a visiting Fulbright Fellow at Smith College in Massachusetts. He received his Master of Science degree in management and organization from the University of Colorado Denver, his Bachelor of Science in business administration from King Falsal University and his doctorate in strategic management from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The Global Perspectives Series aims to bring international scholars to Drake from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds including law, business, political science, sociology and agronomy. The next lecture in the series will be held on April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Bulldog Theatre. Events are free and open to the public.