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Empowering and enabling our new Saudi colleagues to fulfil their potential

We strive to become an employer of choice for national talent wherever we operate. We believe we have a social obligation and moral responsibility to engage and develop those individuals for their own benefit, for our business, and for the countries they call home. 

Our commitment to this agenda was recently recognised with an Emiratisation Award from the government of the United Arab Emirates. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), that same commitment underpins our partnership with the National Project Management Organization (Mashroat). 

“Our role is to help transform government services whilst enabling KSA Government to build exceptional capability in this sector,” explains Patrick Hallgate, Serco’s Operations & Maintenance Technical Director for Mashroat. “The meaningful employment and development of Saudi nationals is a fundamental part of that.” 

Zainab Jidah joined our Mashroat team in June 2019. Inspired by the KSA development strategy, Vision 2030, which prioritises empowering women to contribute more to social and economic development, it was her search for a meaningful career with progression opportunities that led her to Serco: 

“Serco are playing a key role in building a better future for Saudi society,” says Zainab, “and I feel honoured to be part of it.” 

“Zainab joined us in an admin role,” says Patrick. “Since then we’ve grown from seven colleagues to 55 and Zainab has proven herself a valued colleague and invaluable asset to the programme. In particular, she has forged strong connections with both our client and Serco’s wider business, helping us to be as agile and responsive as we need to be – especially important in these unprecedented times. In recognition of her performance and potential we were delighted recently to offer her the Office Leader role.” 

Patrick has encouraged and championed Zainab’s development from the beginning, and admires her energy and determination: 

“Zainab has an extraordinary capacity for learning, growing and giving back. She pushes herself forward and is not afraid to ask questions and seek guidance. We’re involving her in as much as we can, and she is thriving. I have every confidence she will go far.” 

“Everyone is so helpful and supportive,” Zainab continues. “I am learning so much through the responsibilities entrusted to me and the relationships I am building. I represent our team in Serco’s strategic growth programme for the region – engaging with colleagues across the Middle East; I am earning my ‘Yellow Belt’ certification in Serco’s global Operational Excellence programme; and my mentor involves me in other live projects to help develop my knowledge and skills.” 

Zainab is keen to share her success with her peers, particularly prizing the opportunity to become a role model for other Saudi women: 

“There are many successful women in KSA, but fewer in business. Many have the ambition but don’t know where to begin. If I can encourage them and show them how, it would mean a lot to me. I believe Serco is the perfect place for me to do this.” 

“Zainab is a driving force in how we connect with Saudi talent,” says Patrick, “actively seeking out strong candidates to join us as we grow. She also takes the lead on integrating new Saudi colleagues into the team, helping them find their feet and supporting them in fulfilling their own potential.” 

Although Zainab is dedicated to delivering exceptional outcomes for Mashroat, she is looking forward to exploring more of Serco in the future: 

“I see myself staying with Serco for a long time. I feel very strongly that it is the right place for me – I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.”