GE earns an ACE for its inclusive hiring practices

Created a business center in Saudi Arabia staffed solely by women.

The business center handles accounting, human resources and other work for many companies.  Photo courtesy of GE.

General Electric has won the U.S. Secretary of State’s global 2016 Award for Corporate Excellence, or ACE, for its inclusive hiring practices in Saudi Arabia manifested by the All-Women Business Process & IT Services Center in Riyadh.

ACE is presented annually to U.S. firms that uphold the highest standards of responsible business conduct in their global operations. ACE nominations are focused on the exemplary operations of a company in a specific country with the nominations made by U.S. embassies and consulates.

Announced in September 2013, the all-women center – a partnership between GE, Saudi Aramco and TCS – achieved the milestone of employing 1,000 women in March 2016, with a target of hiring 3,000 women in the coming years.

GE and Saudi Aramco are anchor clients of the center, with services now extended to include Saudi Telecom Company and the Saudi Ministry of Economy & Planning.

About 600 employees work exclusively on projects for GE as part of Global Operations, GE’s multi-functional shared services organization. Global Operations is a critical enabler of the company’s simplification efforts. A very diverse team, Global Operations has more than 8,000 employees around the world, comprising 99 nationalities. Sixty-two percent are women.

[See also: GE Healthcare has a plan to train women in technology, leadership.]

The all-women team in Saudi Arabia delivers 23 shared services operations such as finance and accounting, human resources, supply chain management, information technology and enterprise data management, for more than 50 GE locations across the world.

The center in Riyadh is working on expanding its scale, by exploring opportunities with potential customers in the government and private sectors. This directly supports Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to increase the female workforce participation from 22 to 30 percent in the coming years.

 “GE is honored to receive the prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence from the State Department and to be recognized for our Inclusive Hiring Practices in Saudi Arabia, GE Chairman and  CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement, “The All-Women Business Process Center is an innovative solution that enabled us not only to provide career opportunities for the well-educated and talented Saudi females but also to build in-country capabilities that’ll have lasting impact, in what is an important market going through transformative changes. Of course, we thank the US State Department for their ongoing support in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

“We are exceptionally proud of our Saudi female talent who are engaged in diverse career paths – from engineers to lawyers to roles in our all-women shared services center,” added Hisham Albahkali, GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. “Focused on localization and Saudi talent development, we work with our partners to support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 by accelerating the participation of Saudi women in the workforce. Inclusive hiring is part of our corporate commitment and the all-women center is a vital component of our talent ecosystem.”

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