By Huda Al-Ghoson
Out on February 2022
Huda Al-Ghoson’s spirited memoir Unbounded presents a real-life tale of bravery and upward mobility in the face of the unique cultural, social and occupational challenges encountered by women in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Ghoson is widely recognised for her bold effort to progress the cause of gender equality at Saudi Aramco, a once-male dominated corporate giant that remains the largest oil company in the world. Now, for the first time, she describes her rise from an entry-level employee to the first high-ranking female executive in the Kingdom’s history.
Driven by tenacious self-determination, she overcame the odds in a culture where women of her generation once lacked basic rights taken for granted in the West. A self-confessed rebel, she recalls her resistance to convention through reading, the art of self-teaching and, above all, the salvation afforded by the prospect of a different life.
Al-Ghoson recalls traumatic memories of adversity, self-doubt and isolation – revelations she has kept secret until now. At 15 years old, adrift from a short-lived arranged marriage and a discouraging college education, her mother encouraged her to answer an ad from Saudi Aramco. Little did either woman realise, this would launch Al-Ghoson on a trail-blazing career, shattering glass ceilings, confronting workplace harassment, and doing the unthinkable – putting men in their place.
Today, the path taken by Al-Ghoson embodies the liberal and progressive Saudi Arabia she always envisioned, and which she is thrilled to see emerging rapidly in her lifetime.