At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Dubai-based Louise Bou Rached, Key Account Manager, Middle-East at Milestone Systems, a few questions on her experience achieving success in the corporate world, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you:
Louise: I’m a 37-year-old Lebanese national, I’m a wife and mother to a one-year-old baby boy. I relocated to the UAE three and a half years ago with my company Milestone Systems, who are the leaders in video management software, and I am the Key Account Manager for the Middle East.
I have had the opportunity of exercising my passion for technology and people across emerging and developed markets in the Middle East and Africa, in which I have now accumulated almost a decade of experience in technology sales.
People that know me well, would describe me as someone who lives for adventure, someone who is genuine and loyal. My business colleagues always say that I am very focused, structured and an achiever, I couldn’t be happier with that mix.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Louise: Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
I admire her leadership style. She is honest, agile and empathetic; those are some of the essential qualities to have as a leader. At a relatively young age, she was able to handle multiple crises during her tenure in New Zealand and she’s always pulled through successfully. Not to mention that she was able to be both a prime minister and a mother, which I believe is where she gets her nurturing and supporting traits from. I particularly like her quote: “You can be both empathetic and strong” because I think that is quite understated in society, it’s usually you’re one or the other, can’t be both.
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Louise: I will probably go out for lunch with my female colleagues, we also have the tradition of cutting a cake at the office for this occasion, so I might indulge in a piece or two. Afterward, I’ll unwind with my family at home, I like to dedicate and spend some quality time with them every night.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Louise: Never doubt yourself and focus on the next best step, because opportunities will come to those who seek them. As females, we shouldn’t hide behind our gender and we should be prepared to fight against any barrier ahead.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Louise: It is to have the power and confidence within yourself. To use your voice and act upon it, irrespective of your gender and without needing validation or approval from others.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Louise: I think that as much as we would like to change the status quo and even though it may be the 21st century, somehow corporate women are still having to defend their family choices. Most, if not all women, working in the corporate world would be profiled at some point in their career based on their family plans. The sad thing is that whether we want to admit it or not, working women are often working thrice as hard for equal opportunities and to earn a place for themselves in any given industry.
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