“Time management is a constant struggle.”
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.I’m a corporate girl by day and I moonlight as an avid traveller. By profession, I’m the Senior Corporate Communication Executive at Equate Petrochemical Company. However, with every chance I get you’ll find me headed to a new country or city to explore.
Tell us about your education.
I have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Organ State University with focus on processes control and data management. I also did a double minor in math and chemistry. Meanwhile, I have an MBA in finance from the American University of the Middle East, where I managed to graduate as Valedictorian in my class, while working full time.
Tell us about your career journey.
Upon completing my undergrad studies, I heard so much how it was difficult to work as female on the oil rig. Therefore, I made it my mission to attain that position in an oil service company in Kuwait. During that time, I spent many weeks away from home working with my bare hands on the oil rig. Following that, I also took an opportunity to work in an engineering company in the UK. There, I was introduced to the concept of waste plant and environment. As my interest on the subject of environment grew, it led me to work in a global engineering organization between Houston and Kuwait, working as a process/environment engineer where I was designing world class refineries and petrochemical complexes. After three years, I wanted to move from design to actual operations, which led me to my current organization where I started off as the environmental expert for Equate Petrochemical Company. Eleven years later, I currently hold the position of Senior Corporate Communication Executive where I’m in charge of the implementation of the corporate communication strategy and the coordinator for the implementation of the sustainability strategy globally.
How do you manage your time?
Honestly, time management is a constant struggle. However, prioritizing and making to-do lists has helped me out.
What is your biggest strength?
I would say communication is one of my major strengths and I see myself as a people person.Do you have any weaknesses? I think one of my weaknesses is not being able to say no sometimes, because I enjoy challenging myself. However, I always manage to find a balance when accepting more tasks and projects.
Have you made any mistakes that have made you stronger?
All the time. An important factor to consider is that mistakes happen. However, in the long run mishaps are the building blocks to success.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your career?
Working in a male dominated industry and society has been and remains a challenge, because you are constantly hustling to get the same recognition and opportunities as your male peers.
How do you stay motivated during challenging times?
There two things: Knowing that challenging times is temporary and that the outcome is rewarding.
What do you do to relax?
I like to travel, explore the world, learn about new cultures and meet new people. And to top it all off, spend time at the beach!
What has been your proudest moment so far?Being part of the launch of the Elevate Program at Equate. This program is aimed at empowering women and providing them with equal opportunities to elevate their career.
What is your biggest fear?
The fear of going to bed at night and feeling that there is no added value to my day.
What is your favorite quote?
There’s an idiom that I heard from a friend ten years ago that I always refer to, which is: مو كل سلطة فيها طماطThat translates to ‘not every salad has tomatoes’. I like it because it reflects on the reality of how people can think and act in different ways. Understanding the differences in us makes you see the bigger picture and makes you more tolerant towards others.
Name one item in life you can’t do without.
Definitely my phone!
Best advice you have ever taken?
A previous boss at an early stage of my career advised me to not be afraid of the uncertain and to accept challenges.
Share three books on your nightstand.
I don’t keep books on my nightstand, but I am currently reading Hippie by Paulo Coelho.
In your opinion, what are the three keys to success?I believe that open communication, knowing your capabilities and admitting your mistakes while trying to overcome them are ways to succeed in any field.
What is next for you? What would you still like to achieve?
Working in the petrochemical sector, women are generally considered a minority and glass ceilings are evident. Therefore, we see a low percentage of women in leadership positions. I would like to work towards seeing myself breaking those barriers.
What advice would you give to young women starting out in their career?
They need to believe in themselves that they have the capabilities to achieve anything they want to achieve. Believe in yourself and don’t let gender specific jobs discourage you. The world is your oyster.
How does it feel to be a CP Woman of Substance?
I’m very proud to see recognition of women in various roles and I feel honored for the recognition.
Your message for the team at CP magazine:
Keep up the amazing work you guys are doing!