Why It’s Important to Break Through Before We Talk About Balance
A globe-trotting professional, the Vice President of Network and Business Development (MENA) at Thunes, Asma Ben Gamra, does not let societal expectations and biases get her down. Based in Dubai, Asma strongly advocates for women to step out of their comfort zones and make their mark in their respective fields.
Learn more about Asma’s values and what International Women’s Day (IWD) means to her in this latest chapter of “Women of Thunes.”
How can we encourage more women to pursue leadership roles, especially in traditionally male-dominated fields?
It starts with education and imparting the right values from an early age. Girls should be empowered to rise above stereotypes that pigeonhole their careers or life choices. Company culture also plays an important role in recognising female talent and giving women the growth opportunities they deserve.
In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a female leader should possess?
I would not classify leadership qualities by gender. Nevertheless, I believe that a female leader has more empathy when managing her team. And having self-confidence is key to success in a male-dominated field.
How do you balance your professional and personal life, and what strategies have worked best for you?
By planning family time and me time and committing to it, the same way I do with work meetings, has helped in setting boundaries between professional and personal worlds and creating the desired balance.
What does IWD mean to you?
For me, IWD is the opportunity to celebrate women wherever they are and whatever they do for a living, their achievements, and the special value they bring to our world.
More than ever, it is the opportunity to showcase that women can be successful in whatever field they choose to thrive in, while fulfiling their family commitments.
If you could have an hour of their time and have coffee with anyone, who would you pick and why?
I would pick Oprah Winfrey, television producer, actress, author, and one of the most influential women in the world. I admire the way she built her career from zero to become what it is today. I greatly admire her achievements and her personality. Given an hour of her time, we would have a great discussion, and I would learn a lot.