As an audit principal at Deloitte in the Middle East, I get to see how eager young students are to apply to our firm and become part of our family. They come to us full of the exciting prospects of joining the biggest professional services firm in the world: the learning curve from which they benefit, the exposure they get, the technical knowledge they acquire, the soft skills they develop, etc. – the list is endless.
Women represent an important percentage of the professionals in our firm. That percentage can vary from one office to another across the Middle East due to several considerations, of which social norms. However, regardless of their percentage, women are an integral part of the firm. They represent a valuable asset and play an important and fundamental role in mentoring the new generation of professionals.
Throughout the past decade, the firm has demonstrated that women have the same opportunities as men in advancing into high-level leadership positions. Still more needs to be done to promote this culture and attract more young women to join the firm and give them the assurance that they are entitled to benefit from the same opportunities as men, despite today’s lower ratio of women leaders than men as compared to the split across genders among the professionals in the firm.
My personal experience with the firm has been and continues to be rewarding. Throughout my career, I had the same opportunities as my fellow male colleagues, this increased my commitment to the firm, and my belief in it values. As a woman leader, I find myself bearing the responsibility to lead by example to show the generations of young professionals with real life examples what they can achieve if they choose to work hard, show commitment and have integrity, for it is those values – not age, not background, and certainly not gender – that count.
by: Rouba Abou Daher, Principal, Audit, Deloitte, Middle East
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