Leila Hoteit: 3 lessons on success from an Arab businesswoman
Leila Hoteit - Women's advocate
BCG's Leila Hoteit specializes in human capital and education throughout the Middle East. Full bio
from my young daughter Alia
standing tall in the middle of the mall.
of the United Arab Emirates.
that these were the rulers of the UAE
to develop their nation
that here where we live,
where grandma and grandpa live,
of powerful women on the walls?
I've had to answer in my years as a parent
of professional life, for that matter.
to a very hard-working pilot
for the Lebanese Airlines
stay-at-home mom and grandma.
my sister and I to pursue our education
emphasized at the time
who should be professionally motivated.
of my generation
and I hope I didn't do too badly
of his would-be son.
in electrical engineering,
then consulting in the Middle East,
in male-dominated environments.
a role model I could truly identify with.
wasn't into professional leadership.
encouraging men along the way,
and pressures I was facing,
when I had my own two beautiful children.
poor, oppressed Arab women advice,
with different constraints.
have had to become our own role models.
more cultural rigidity than Western women.
that we poor, oppressed women
certainly hard-earned lessons to share,
in the modern world.
is touting as the key to success:
and how do you develop it?
the ability to transform shit into fuel.
well before my current firm,
we will call John.
and was working hard,
my case to make partner at the firm.
on my consulting projects,
of women economic empowerment.
to a roomful of MBA students.
to the details of my study.
in apparent shame.
to an applauding audience
gender parity indices,
at the bottom of the index,
that was not factual?"
"The whole premise of your study is wrong.
break the social fabric of our society."
their place is in the home."
in the chaos of my brain was:
that partnership, Leila.
absorb this incident and its implications,
I reached three conclusions.
their issues become mine.
another sponsor, and fast.
and boy, was he great.
what women with children can do.
to my personal life.
by women, men and couples
with my husband and I
of a dual-career couple.
at a family gathering
you're not a great mom,
in your career, right?
these words didn't hurt.
precious thing to me,
failing them in any way is intolerable.
that these were their issues,
in these situations, you have two options.
to internalize these negative messages
to ever achieve,
negativity is their own issue,
into your own personal fuel.
to always go for option two,
from strength to strength.
to someone supportive of their career.
if you plan to have a long career.
is not an equal contributor in the home.
our society still assumes
should be the happiness and prosperity
but it will take time.
that the professional Arab woman
is being taken care of
professional skills to your personal life.
has access to affordable domestic help.
how to recruit effectively.
I have based the selection
with my children while I'm at work
for four years with my sister
member of our family,
since Alia was six months old.
is running smoothly while I'm at work,
for her and my children,
whatever your childcare situation,
that you share with someone else.
from 7pm to 8:30pm UAE time
ever since Alia was a baby.
to protect this time
to spend quality time with my children,
reading them a bedtime story
lots of kisses and cuddles.
in whatever the time zone,
even if I am miles away.
and do basic maths.
is actually more successful
playing teacher to her little brother,
actually improve Burhan's literacy,
to working their life
of responsibility in the home.
about surviving in your dual role
I can spend with them every day,
into memorable moments,
have not been very visible
in politics in the Arab world.
behind the scenes,
very important to success:
of friends and acquaintances.
often compare themselves to other women
successful woman in the room.
for one woman at the top,
much less lift them up.
for this psychological trap.
that by helping each other out,
senior woman in the Middle East,
in my network of female colleagues
with male seniors and peers.
came through the support of other women.
who initially suggested
to the World Economic Forum.
and my publications,
to voice her opinion,
a Saudi lady and friend,
my first project in Saudi Arabia,
to gain traction in as a woman.
of very many projects for me in Saudi.
as key to my own success.
despite many recent setbacks.
five new female ministers to its cabinet,
developed countries can claim.
Alia's favorite picture.
no doubt, of great leadership,
of strong Arab women
pushing the boundaries.
deciding every day like me
to keep work out of their life,
when she stands on this stage
to call herself her mother's daughter
"her mother's son" or "mama's boy"
a completely different meaning.
About the speaker:Leila Hoteit - Women's advocate
BCG's Leila Hoteit specializes in human capital and education throughout the Middle East.
Why you should listen
Dr. Leila Hoteit is a partner and managing director at BCG, based in Dubai. She leads the education and human capital development work in the Middle East.
Dr. Hoteit's career spans over 13 years in the management consulting industry. As part of her assignments, Dr. Hoteit has covered a slew of in-depth societal issues that punctuate the MENA region; these include education, women's empowerment, human capital development, employment and culture. Dr. Hoteit was named Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum in 2014 -- a multi-stakeholder community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future. Dr. Hoteit holds a Bachelor's degree and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London, as well as an MBA from France's INSEAD. She is the author of multiple patents.
Leila Hoteit | Speaker | TED.com