Saudi Women Can Drive

Amidst all headlines, from ‘NFL-Take a Knee’ to the ‘Daily Weather Report’, one headline made it to the top of international news and trended worldwide on Twitter. If you were living under a rock, here is a post from NYTimes.

History was made, three days after the 87th National Day of Saudi Arabia, on Sept 26, 2017, a royal decree was issued – legalizing women to drive in the Kingdom; effective June 2018. It was an age old rule, that banned women from driving any sort of transport within the Kingdom, that now has come to an end.

While congratulatory messages swarmed twitter from across the globe, there were (sadly) several negative comments, including mockery of women’s ability to take the wheel. [Here is a quick snapshot comparing the number of vehicle crashes in U.S by gender.]

Keeping this post this post strictly economics-oriented; allowing women to drive, can affect Saudi Arabia in several ways:

Female Empowerment
With the increase in female-only job vacancies and more focus on women education, more and more women are being encouraged to work. And with a population of roughly half male-to-female ratio, of which 60% of females are between ages 20-64 (Source: GAstats, 2016); removing a lifestyle-handicap and legalizing women-driving will empower them and enable greater participation from females in the country’s overall economy.

Foreign Employment
On the other hand, there are about 1.4 Million personal drivers (not counting Uber, etc.), whose job security is becoming precarious by the day. Furthermore, as majority of them are foreigners from low-income families, they will be loosing that income to support their families.

More Disposable Income
Meanwhile, the disposable incomes that were being paid to personal drivers, can now be utilized elsewhere, or simply saved for future investments, which increases the standard of living in the long-term.

Boost of Car Industries
It is needless to say, this would increase the car sales and boost gasoline demands. Almost all car brands jumped to the chance to begin advertising from now. These are some of their congratulatory ads: Ford, Nissan, and many more.

 

Regardless of how it actually turns out to be, and how welcoming the streets are for female drivers; it is a massive step towards the growth of the country and its people.

Go Ladies!

 

“There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.” —Rihanna

 

🙂 FTK

Photo via Visualhunt.com

De-technologize Yourself

Always Connected..
Always Sharing..
Always Online..

According to Entrepreneur.com, Millennials spent 18 hours a day consuming online content. That figure was of 2014, I’m sure it has only increased since then – I personally spend 9-10 hours looking at the screen at work alone.
After returning from work, it’s usually Netflix and Chill, otherwise I’m reading books-on Kindle.

So basically, I’m on the screen, all the time. And even when I’m travelling, the routine doesn’t change much.

Now, however, when I travel, I would limit my online time to 2-3 hours everyday. The remaining would be going “old-school”. I would opt for an actual book, to pass time on public transports, I’d take photos from an actual camera, and not my phone, and wherever possible, I’d use an actual paper-map (though I often use my phone in the end, just to make I don’t get lost).
In the beginning it was impossibly difficult to leave my phone and not constantly look at it. But sooner than I expected, I got accustomed to the fact that, well, you really don’t have to check your phone every 5 minutes.
I started noticing everything around me, started to interact more with people, and indulged myself in more creative things.

Back to routine life, it isn’t always possible to stay away from technology all together, but I try to use it in more productive way and to balance it with something non-techie, like reading or crafting, etc.

This has limited my obsession of posting everything on social media and gave me time to spare to pursue others stuff, and to live in the moment.

 

🙂 FTK

Photo via Visual Hunt

The Kiss of Deception: Review

16429619Run-away Princess, Kingdoms at a brink of an upcoming war, A Prince and An Assassin at her trail.

In short, the synopsis is slightly cliché with a hint of love-triangle. Not something I would read, however, I’m a sucker for Fantasy stories involving badass princess on the run.

While picking up the book, I thought that is resembled quite a bit with Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns. (we all know how that went – my review for that can be read here). Fortunately, The Kiss of Deception has been everything I had hoped from the former book and I flew through its pages.

The book directly dives into POVs of our main three characters; The princess with a ‘gift’, The Prince, and The Assassin. Throughout the story, we get interludes of the Assassin’s and the Prince’s POV and their inner dilemma while the book continues on the development of the plot and the characters.

Kaden and Rafe, both, soon develop an interest in Princess Lia, however readers are kept in dark as to who is the assassin and who is the prince until past half of the book. The remaining half is where the story picks up and the bigger plot is revealed with an unraveling of a prophecy.

Mary Pearson excels at world building and still maintaining interest in the finer details of the differences in kingdoms, the languages spoken, and their cultures. The story was paced adequately, without being dragged and you start to care for all characters soon enough.

Overall I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Looking forward to reading the sequels.

Corporate Culture: The Sleeping Beast

Culture an any form, is the shared value and beliefs a group of people follow. When it comes to organizational culture, the ‘shared’ value and beliefs in an organization, governs how people behave and their decisions.

Or in more simple terms, “Culture is how organizations ‘do things’.” — Robbie Katanga*

How important is it? Well, Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos.com) said,

If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.”

 

We all know how Google is known for their ‘awesome’ corporate culture*. The facilities provided at their head-office, is in itself a jaw-dropper, but their continuous importance given to office atmosphere, employee recognition, and community welfare has made Google’s corporate culture into a benchmark most companies strive to achieve.

But what if a company doesn’t pay attention to all that. They don’t have well-incorporated values, neither they find any importance in recognizing employee accomplishments. This behavior then leads to top-management pursuing personal agendas, middle-management slacks off and lower-management gets the grit of the work. Organizational politics may ensue and overall employee productivity may drop. Okay, all that maybe a bit exaggerated. But I’m saying based on experience (albeit a couple of years).

For example; manager disagrees with their boss for a medium-impact-but-high-budget item, boss wouldn’t budge from their decision or would stall the approval, manager starts to micromanage the team, atmosphere become intolerable during meetings, everyone has a bad day at work.

Now the above might happen anywhere, but how often does it happen? Is the Boss (probably a Baby-Boomer) at fault for being stingy against change? Is the Manager (probably a Gen-X) being stubborn because they want recognition? Is the Team (probably Millennials) being exploited because well, they are millennials?

When I was job-hunting; among all other company/position characteristics, I paid attention to corporate culture most of the time. I will effect how I’ll work, what I’ll do, and most importantly, if I’ll like to work there and how I’ll grow as an employee – as a person.

So depending on who manages the unit, department, or the organization; they will have considerable amount of power over how the organizational culture is developed within their ‘territory’. Specially when an organization is in a silo-structure, it becomes important to make sure that each silo has a strong culture in itself.

 

Corporate Culture is the intangible, internal beast of the organization that is sleeping. you can let it sleep, or awaken it and win over your competition.

 

🙂 FTK

 

Credits:

1* What is Organizational Culture?” Via HBR

2* Google’s Organizational Culture Via OfficeVibe

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com