Interview with Georgette Yousef, CHRO at Al Ansari Exchange

At Al Ansari Exchange, we are committed to building a more diverse and gender-equitable finance industry by promoting diversity, raising visibility, and empowering women to find their personal path to success. 

This International Women’s Day we would like to shed light on our CHRO Georgette Yousef who has helped shape the culture of our company and is leading the women empowerment journey into the future. 

1.What advice would you give young women who are just starting their career?

  • First and foremost, as women, we are generally uncomfortable promoting or talking about ourselves. Realize early on that you are hired for a job because of your skills and talents. Don’t let these get minimized by not owning up to them. Your ideas, contributions and achievements are yours to realize AND to highlight, use your voice no matter how uncomfortable it may be or as l strongly believe even if it “shakes”.
  • Learn how to accept praise. As an example, when your boss says “Good job on that project.” Don’t respond, “I have a great team or they really work hard.” You have devalued yourself and removed your work from the equation instead receive the praise with pride. Simply say, “Thank you.” Or praise yourself first then value the team “I’m very proud of the results I achieved.  The whole team did a great job on this project.”
  • The ultimate challenge for women is communicating in a way that enhances our authority and proves our capability. Here are some ways to strengthen how you communicate:
    • Be direct, lead with the bottom line first, then fill in the facts and details, and always have a strong close. The first and last things you say are the most remembered.
    • Speak in clear, concise language. Eliminate the “umms, ahhs, uhhs and other fillers, it impacts your credibility and likability. It also makes it appear as if you are unsure of what you’re saying if prepared at all.
    • Use silence to your advantage, especially in a negotiation. State your case, then wait for the other person to respond before you speak. The one who speaks first almost always loses the advantage.
    • Hold your head up high and look people in the eyes when you are addressing them. You have nothing to shy away from, Eye contact is a strong language without word required, however very much a credible and respectful approach.

2. What is one thing you wish more people knew about women in the workplace?

Women in the workplace are an asset of great value.  We are born as true nurturers, problem solvers, leaders with a great ability to multitask. Women have well-calibrated sensors that help them perceive situations that need immediate attention before they represent a potential risk. 

3. What is your proudest accomplishment in your career to date?

As l am in the prime of my career, ive had many. I think being able to manage so many personalities on such a diverse level from all walks of life and such vast cultures is a great achievement.

Relocating far away from home and focusing on impactful outcomes in such a progressive and dynamic region is definitely a great attribute. Succeeding amongst a predominately-male oriented environment is another great achievement. The deceptiveness of perception pleasantly surprises at the best of times, especially when positive outcomes are anchored.

4. What do you see – or hope to see – as the future for women in the finance industry?

I hope to see more women in general in senior and decision-making positions not just in the finance industry but in all industries.  I hope to see more women as global leaders leading change and versatility. This is not about male or woman it is about believing in yourself, with the belief that you are deserving, worthy and can achieve anything you put your mind and soul to. I guess Empowered women, empower women!