How long have you been in your current role? Where did you work before this?
I have been in my current role with AECOM, in Dubai, for four years. Prior to that, I was regional manager at Michael Page for four years, also based in Dubai. My experience before that was in London, with the UK market, working for a leading executive search firm and Cap Gemini.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the impact that acquiring top talent can have on an organisation, as well as interacting with people from all cultural backgrounds on a daily basis.
What is your most memorable professional achievement?
At the beginning of my career, I was part of a talent-acquisition team and hired people for the preparation of the London Olympics. This was a project close to my heart as it was a major sporting event held in my home city. To be part of a team shaping the way the project was designed and delivered was very satisfying.
What are the key challenges that you face in your current role?
There are a number of challenges at present that affect not only my role, but also the construction industry in general. The first is the ever-changing socio-economic environment in the GCC, which has a huge impact on the way we approach the implementation of our talent-acquisition strategies. Another constant challenge in our industry is the diversity of the workforce, specifically the growth and development of female employees.
The built-environment industry has historically been male-led. This has changed significantly for the better over the past three years or so, with more women representing their organisations at board and executive levels. A study by Deloitte showed that last year, 15% of all board seats were filled by women globally, up from 12% in 2015.
The challenge faced from a talent-acquisition perspective is creating a compelling enough value proposition to attract female professionals into the organisation. This needs to start at the ‘grass roots’, by attracting female graduates and developing them into future leaders.