If you are an entrepreneur or familiar with the MENA business and technology world, you must have heard of Amira Rashad, an Egyptian Harvard Business School graduate, Facebook’s UAE Head of Brand and one of the leading women in the MENA business world.
Formerly, the mother of two was responsible for all Yahoo! sites, products and productions in the region. She has over 20 years of general management, strategy consulting and marketing management experience, working in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. She has also led marketing, product and business development teams at large international corporations. She is even a UK Foreign Office Chevening scholar.
After her speech at the MENA Cristal Innovation and Digital Conference, we chatted about the hurdles she has faced as an Arab woman and how she managed to overcome the stereotypical criticism of being a working Arab mother and become one of the most influential speakers and a successful leader in the business world.
“It starts with your own conviction of what you want to do and your belief that you can do it,” she told us. “Education is a huge part of it, family support is a huge part of it, but most importantly, it might sound very strange, but marrying right is a very big part of it because if your spouse, be it male or female, is not supportive of what you are doing, you will not succeed.”
“It is all about how do you understand what your priorities are on an ongoing basis and make sure the people around you, both from a close circle and wider circle, understand these priorities as well in order to help you get you to where you need to go,” she explained.
She also added that all women should get the right education by choosing the field they want to major in, follow their passion and have the strength to know what value they are adding to the world.
We also asked her about her perspective on the digital scene and how people are adjusting as we move forward in the age of technology.
“Most of your digital interaction is on a smartphone, but it is a stand-alone device,” she said. “It is engaging, but not necessarily immersive.”
“We have already launched, this past fall, Oculus Rift, which is a virtual reality headgear that allows you to be immersed in various experiences and allows you to connect with people in other places virtually as well,” she told us.
“It is more of virtual reality or augmented reality where you are actually immersed in the actual experience to make it more natural, where you are not typing through a keyboard, you are actually using your voice for commands and being able to be part of that experience versus just interact.”
WE SAID THI: Don’t miss Q&A: DMF Founder Najla Mazboudi on the Evolving Digital Landscape.