The Tabuk Pharmaceutical plant in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

The Tabuk Pharmaceutical plant in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Female staff at Tabuk to swell

The company, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest pharmaceuticals producers, is giving a big push to gender equality

August 2015

Tabuk Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co has announced plans to hire as many as 300 females over five years in what could probably be one of the biggest intakes of women in a Saudi private firm.

The women, who will be posted in Tabuk’s offices in Tabuk, Riyadh and Dammam, will take the female head count to 20 per cent. Tabuk’s commitment to the employment of Saudi females is aligned with an organisation-wide initiative to support gender diversity, and increase the representation of women in the workplace.

The company said its initiative has three priorities: to improve Tabuk’s ability to attract, develop and retain Saudi women by supporting a variety of internal talent development initiatives such as training, capability building and internal mobility; to encourage female access to the workplace by offering scholarships, apprenticeship and mentorship to distinguished Saudi female students, and to participate in external initiatives aimed at fostering female professional development, entrepreneurship, and access to leadership positions.

“Women play a crucial role as contributors and agents of change in society. They are a unique resource for human development that can be effectively utilised in the national economy. Unlocking the potential of women in the workplace is of significant importance to the company and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Tabuk Pharmaceuticals’ CEO Ismail Bel-Bachir.

“Tabuk Pharmaceuticals has placed itself at the forefront of this change a few years ago. We believe that supporting gender equality in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but can also have a substantial impact on economic growth and society at large in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And we reckon that we can make, at our level, a meaningful difference,” he added.


Back in 2011, Tabuk Pharmaceuticals initiated a comprehensive human capital building programme for Saudi females in line with the June 2011 Royal Decree entitling Saudi women to work in the pharmaceutical industry. The programme included a new hiring plan, extensive training and development courses, coupled with tailored career development pathways.

Females at Tabuk Pharmaceuticals have also started to benefit from creative working arrangements, such as the part-time model, remote work and flexible hours for working mothers – all of which were planned and implemented in accordance with the Saudi Labour Law and within local cultural and social norms.

Four years later, in 2015, the company employs 200 females in the country, equivalent to 10 per cent of its 2,000 employee workforce. They operate in a variety of areas such as manufacturing, quality control, quality assurance, administration, finance and human resources. Their integration into Tabuk’s workforce has been successful in multiple dimensions such as retention rate, productivity and emergence of top-talents.


Dr Hamad Al Khamees, general manager, Tabuk Pharmaceuticals, Saudi, stated: “Saudi female employees are today an important and growing segment of our human resources in Tabuk Pharmaceuticals. It is a key priority for us under the Saudisation programme ‘Nitaqat’, along with recruiting Saudi males. Our experience with female employment has been a successful one allowing us to unlock the productivity dividend women have to offer. Furthermore, this is coupled with a high level of loyalty and dedication to the company.”

Dalal Al-Eid, from Tabuk Pharmaceuticals HR Department, said she has always been looking for an opportunity to prove her ability as a working woman. “I have always wanted to develop myself, and that is exactly what Tabuk Pharmaceuticals has offered me. It is a wide door of opportunity where every day is a new experience. I have evolved into a confident person, a team player and a decision-maker,” Al-Eid said.

Tabuk Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Company, established in 1994, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes branded generic pharmaceuticals and under-licensed products. The company’s fast growth has allowed it to emerge as a regional leader with a strong focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Today, it is one of the leading companies in the kingdom, ranking second among all pharmaceutical companies, is present in over 25 markets and employs over 2000 employees.

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