Hala Badri, Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications at du was named the Leading Businesswoman of the Year by the WIL Achievement Awards 2015. Ms Badri was presented the award by His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, the Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates and Sophie Le Ray, CEO of Naseba and Founder of the WIL Forum.
The Arabian Marketer spoke to Hala Badri, Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications, du on winning the award. Edited Excerpts:
Congratulations on winning the Leading Businesswoman of the Year by WIL Achievement Awards 2015…
Thank you – it’s always an honor to be recognized both in the business sphere and as an Emirati woman in technology.
How important are awards and recognition?
Awards and recognition are a vital aspect of encouragement. When you are elevated in the eyes of those who look up to you, it is easy to become an inspiration for them. I personally believe that encouragement is a means of empowerment; awards do not only recognize contributions to a business or society, they recognize the person and empower that person to become an inspiration and a mentor for others. I hope that my win inspires the hardworking Emirati women to continue striding forth towards their goals. Beyond that, I wish to motivate more UAE youth to participate in the dynamic industry that is information and communication technology. I am incredibly proud of winning the Leading Business Woman of the Year Award. Working for an organization like du, where I am challenged to progress on a daily basis and which supports me, not just as an employee but as a mother, a woman and a proud Emirati, is one of the reasons for my success.
What is the key to a successful career, especially for women?
There are many factors that contribute to a successful career. First and foremost, finding the right employer – one that will inspire you on a personal level and offer support in terms of learning and motivation – is vital. I am privileged to have found my place at du as I believe that the company recognized my potential and invested in me from the beginning. Other factors that influence a successful career include building and expanding your network to stay ahead of the curve. This can be done by things as simple as attending business networking events. Professional mentoring will also go a long way to help young talent.
You agree that talent is in fact a critical area in this market?
It is. The UAE needs more people willing to act as mentors for the younger generation. Emirati youth are hungry for success and often just need a guiding hand to set them in the right direction. At du, we have some very talented, creative-minded UAE nationals in the telecom sector who are looking for a foothold within the industry, and we are keen to offer them a career that will provide them with continuous development and progression opportunities, on both a personal and professional level. One key driver to success, and one that is overlooked at times, is finding a healthy work-life balance. As a woman, a mother, a wife, and a sister, balancing work and life is an ongoing challenge and I am grateful that I have the supportive environment at work to do that to the best of my ability.