The world’s biggest crude exporter, Saudi Aramco, has appointed its first female executive to the board of directors, naming Lynn Elsenhans, an American, one of its new members.
State-run Aramco announced the milestone decision on Sunday, welcoming the former chairwoman, president, and CEO of the US oil company Sunoco among its five new board members.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Economy Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, former president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Peter Cella, and Andrew Liveris, CEO of the Dow Chemical Company will also join the board.
Elsenhans’ appointment comes as the conservative kingdom has embarked on a range of sweeping reforms, including loosening restrictions on women.
Launched under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the changes have seen women allowed to attend sporting events for the first time, apply for jobs with the traffic police and air traffic control, and to start their own businesses without male guardian permission. Starting from June, Saudi women will also be allowed to drive.
In another watershed moment for the Islamic nation, the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) named Sarah Al-Suhaimi as its first female chair.