At KPMG I learned that the most important asset in any organization is the people. - Khalid Alkhudair, Managing Director, Glowork
At KPMG we encourage our people to make a difference in the wider world, a belief that many carry with them into their future careers. Khalid Alkhudair's Glowork enterprise, which connects private businesses with untapped female talent in Saudi Arabia, is a shining example.
“The inspiration for my business was my sister,” says Khalid. “When she graduated she came back to the Kingdom and couldn't find a job.” Although the economy was buoyant and over half of those graduating were female, over 30 percent of Saudi women were unemployed. “As a consultant at KPMG, I learned to see problems as opportunities, and I started to put together a solution to help more women get into the labor market more easily. The starting point for my business was the lack of communication between the private sector and the education sector.”
Khalid set up Glowork while still at KPMG. “My boss was very encouraging and pushed me to make things happen. When Glowork started to take off, he invited me to take a sabbatical year to focus on the business and said if it didn't work out, I could come back to KPMG. It took a lot of the risk away.”
Khalid first joined the KPMG network in 2006 as a Marketing Supervisor in the Saudi Arabian firm and went on to work as Chief Operating Officer for markets across Saudi, Kuwait and Jordan. He initiated the Saudi firm's Corporate Social Responsibility Program so had a strong grasp of how good business practice aligns with doing good in the wider world.
He left KPMG in 2012 to focus on Glowork, which has since gone grown exponentially. “We've expanded to around 120 employees and placed over 36,000 women directly, with many more benefiting indirectly from our advocacy and our online networks.” The business has also diversified from recruitment into women-only gyms and taxi apps.
Khalid remains hugely grateful to KPMG for encouraging his entrepreneurial instincts and equipping him with the business skills to utilize them. “I was given the chance to expand my horizons and create something that had potential to drive real change while still within the firm. I don't think many other organizations would have given the same opportunity. My boss then mentored me throughout my time with KPMG ̶ on everything from how to deal with people to how to get things done. He's been absolutely critical to the success of my career and the success of Glowork.”