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Four successful women share their personal experiences to help inspire the next generation of leaders

In honor of International Women’s Day, we talked with four K&A women to find out how they got to where they are today, what were the challenges they faced, and what advice do they want to give to other working women. Senior foundations and earthworks engineer Nadine Nehmeh, senior sales strategy director Andreea Nicolescu, architect Mariam Al Taie, and senior mechanical project engineer Sahar Abbas share details on their careers and the secrets of their success tips.
 


Network, Smile, and Believe in Yourself!

Senior foundations and earthworks engineer Nadine Nehmeh often heard while growing up that engineering is not for girls. “It was this stereotype – that women were considered as the fragile gender – that pushed me to pursue my engineering studies.”

During her 15-year career, Nadine has faced numerous challenges; her major one is being a working mom. How does she face it? “Work and motherhood both require sacrifice,” she says. “Managing both things necessitates strict decisions. My advice is to get organized, which helps you make the most of family time. Building a support network is much needed. A working mom doesn’t have to do everything on her own. She can get additional support from a family member or a friend.”

Nadine’s advice for young engineers is to build a network, get active in professional associations, always smile, and believe in oneself. “I only started discovering what I can do by getting out of my comfort zone and believing in myself. You can only be amazed by what a sincere smile can do, from boosting confidence and success to building better relationships with your coworkers,” she adds.

Nadine continues: “Saying yes can also help you succeed; it can drive you to a cool journey, you may never know.”



Get a Mentor, You Are Not Alone.

With a passion for sales, Andreea Nicolescu has earned a wealth of experience in her field, and her team spirit makes her a great example of how to drive continuous excellence. “Whenever I am part of a team and we secure a good deal or project, I feel proud of our achievement.”

Andrea attributes her will to succeed to her permanent self-motivation and ambition. She enjoys being challenged on new projects continuously, working with different teams and being inspired by great leaders.

To overcome challenges “look inwards rather than outwards,” says Andreea. “Figure out what you can do to improve the situation without focusing on what others are doing wrong; we can only do our best,” she adds. “Once you change perspectives, you will realize all the other opportunities coming your way.”

For Andreea, being resilient is an essential asset for success and that’s what she has learned from her mother, the only person who has inspired her on all fronts.

One of her best tips for success?
“Find a mentor. It can be a family member, a friend or an individual that you look–up to and truly trust,” she says. “Ask them for constant genuine advice, feedback, and help. Share your struggles, challenges and successes. They will see things in you that you haven’t noticed or appreciated. They will keep you grounded and add perspective to your projects. It works great for me.”



Know Your Worth, And Keep Moving Forward.

From her early childhood, the talented architect Mariam Al Taie has been drawn to creativity and art. “Throughout school, I had developed an interest in drawing and graphics. Adding to it my passion for practicality and problem solving, these little things inspired me to become an architect and helped me turn my hobby into a profession,” she says.

Shortlisted for the Rising Star of the year at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2019, Mariam attributes her success to her patience and persistence. “When I first got nominated I was really overwhelmed, and couldn’t but think about the long journey I have made,” she shares. “At the beginning of my career, I struggled understanding the real life of an architect,” she explains. “In university, you could create whatever you like and propose any materials with small consideration to authorities and budget, whereas in reality, you have to think of all that.” She continues, “Throughout my career, I managed to understand how things work, and thankfully found my way through it.”

What advice would Mariam give for young working women? “Simply know your worth and keep moving forward.” She adds, “Don’t be afraid of acknowledging your weak points; on the contrary, face them, and don’t let them set you back.”

 

Celebrate Life’s Smallest and Biggest Wins!

Senior Mechanical Project Engineer Sahar Abbas has been always fascinated by airplanes and their flying mechanism. Her curiosity drove her to pursue her studies in mechanical engineering and to excel in it. “Since I was a little girl, I always wondered about how things worked and I found all my answers in engineering,” she says.

Her curiosity and attention to details, led her to become a LEED Green Associate in 2010, and since then, she has been helping and supporting her colleagues in passing the LEED exam themselves. “Sharing knowledge helps you grow, pushes you to become better at what you do, and helps you discover the capabilities of your own team members.”

Sahar’s advice for young engineers is “never forget to celebrate life’s wins, even the smallest ones count.” She adds: “Celebrating achievements with colleagues goes beyond the enjoyment itself. These celebrations help you forge a team spirit and boost the team members’ morale; so do it more often!”