Culture in Saudi Arabia and women

Culture, gender, and leadership can be closely intertwined.
In most cultures, even Western cultures, leadership is associated with males.
This is even more the case in many Arab Muslim countries where women play a
limited role in public and business life.

As a leader of a business division, you face the choice of
selecting the leader of a negotiation team to draft a new deal with a potential
Saudi Arabian client. By far your best, most experienced, and most skilled
negotiator is one of your female executives. She has, for many years,
successfully negotiated deals within the United States and in several Western
countries. Her second in command is a promising but relatively young male
executive who still needs to develop his skills and experience.

It is your understanding that women in Saudi Arabia do not
even drive, let alone participate in business. Is this still true, or is it

What is the purpose of the negotiation? How will that affect
your choice of negotiators?

Who will you send to Saudi Arabia as head of your team? Why?

If your CEO is insistent on sending the female executive,
what adjustments might you make to ensure that the deal is not put at risk?

What are the implications of your decision for your business
and the message you send as a leader?