What strategies or practices are you employing to foster resilience within your team or organization during challenging times? How has it changed compared to when you started?

One of our biggest areas of focus is teamwork. We give each team member the opportunity to express their opinions. I feel, listening to their concerns and everything else they have to say empowers and encourages them to collaborate better to find solutions for our challenges and help achieve our organizational goals.

We also ensure that our goals and targets are clearly communicated to each team member and see to it that they are aware of their roles and informed of the challenges they may face. We believe having a clear vision and strategy is critical to achieving success, and recognizing our team members’ achievements, increasing their accountability, granting them the authority, and providing them with timely feedback only makes things better.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we emphasized remote working, supported our team members emotionally and even helped address their health concerns. Incorporating flexible work hours also helped, allowing our team members to deliver in time even during crises situations.

One of the biggest changes that I see now compared to when I started is flexibility. I am more flexible with my team; not only do I empower them but also ensure that I delegate important tasks to them.

What difference are you seeing in women taking up finance or related fields as their first career choice in comparison to when you started?

There is a stark increase in the number of women who are choosing to pursue finance, or its related fields, as their first career. This rise can be credited to the various initiatives that are aimed at empowering women in the sector. The gender parity is also evident in many organizations — all of which is encouraging young women to become finance professionals and succeed at it.

What is your advice to new and existing female leaders who are finding it challenging to tackle long workdays, maintain work-life balance and deal with more such scenarios?

Female leaders should learn how they can delegate some of their responsibilities and identify top priorities at work and in their personal life better. This will help reduce their workload and maintain adequate work-life balance. In addition, female leaders should explain the nature and demands of their work to their family members to gain their extended support.

It goes without saying that they need to manage their time effectively to accommodate hobbies and wellness-related activities and have the flexibility for any unprecedented events. Lastly, they should maintain a women-only network where they have the access to other female leaders for times when they may require their support.

What advice would you give to women who want to advance from a middle-management role to being in a female leader’s position?

For women seeking to grow and climb the success ladder in their career, it is essential that they not only develop leadership skills but also embed a sense of responsibility and continuous learning in their approach.

They need to work hard, know their strengths and weaknesses, participate in decision-making committees, take up more challenges to gain necessary experience, and focus on expanding their network so they can keep building on their knowledge and skills.

While it is important to do all of the above, it is crucial they remember to celebrate their achievements and successes too.

What steps is KAMCO taking to foster the culture of gender equality? Please share a few examples.

We are proud to have become members of the women’s empowerment movement in Kuwait, a subject that we hold dearly close to our individual and corporate values at Kamco Invest. Committing to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) falls in line with our corporate culture and our strong belief in providing every individual the equal opportunity to excel within our organization, regardless of their gender.

Kamco Invest participated in the “Driving Women’s Empowerment Forward: Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the Role of Business to Accelerate Equality in the Workplace” event which showcased Kuwait’s developments around women empowerment and welcomed new members into the initiative.

Additionally, the Kamco Board includes two women: Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Board Director, and Entisar Abdul Raheem Al-Suwaidi, Board Director. Our Executive Management also comprises two women, Nawal Mulla Hussain, Managing Director of Support Operations, and I, Hanaa Hasan Taha, Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer.