“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”—Sheryl Sandberg
I believe mothers face difficult decisions especially in the part of the world I live in. Some choose to leave work and dedicate their time for family which is the most respectful selfless act of love. However, the model which I would like to present to my daughter is that there shouldn’t be any compromise between self-accomplishment and independence on one hand, and family life on the other hand. It is important for me that she knows that she can reach whatever she aspires to, that she needs to work hard for it, that she can do it no matter how hard it is and that she has an equal chance as her brother. This is also one of the reasons why at 34 with 2 kids I decided to go for an MBA while working full time. I truly believe that I cannot convince my children to go for a higher education if I don’t do it myself. I need to walk the talk.
I have been working in the same company in the past 11 years where I started as a junior developer after my graduation from engineering school in 2006. Gradually, I started managing teams until I reached the position of Head of Development/ Country Manager two years ago. Although I hold a position with a lot of responsibilities in addition to raising two kids, I reached a point in my life where I started to ask myself “is that all?”, “where should I go from here?” My biggest fear was stagnation.
The company I work for is a software vendor specialized in Supply Chain Management solutions based in France with a branch in Germany. I manage the Lebanese offshore branch responsible of development and consisting of 31 employees; I’m very passionate about my job. It is true that working with the French and German branches provides me with some international experience but I needed to have more exposure. Learning from different cultures, acquiring managerial expertise by experience sharing and broadening my network would help me stretch myself to further career progress in my current position and future opportunities. This is why I decided to join the GMBA program of IE Business School last.
I really appreciate the women empowerment theme in IE since it is a subject I’m passionate about and I want to work on in the future. I can say that GMBA program has been one of the most fulfilling life experiences I have ever had. The mixture of nationalities in the global program gave me the international exposure that I was looking for thanks to class dynamics and emphasis on multi-geographical and cultural team work. Moreover, I thought that balancing between managerial position and family life helped me be a good time manager. Well, time management while doing the MBA is on a totally different level; I soon realized that there have been many hours of the day which could be used more efficiently in the past. I know it is hard and it demands a lot of effort but hard work and perseverance will pay off when we are passionate about what we are doing.
Bio: Cynthia Hamouche is a current Global MBA candidate at IE Business School. Living in Lebanon, she is the Head of Software Development/Country Manager of Acteos where she works since 2006. She is a mother of 6 year-old twins. She enjoys team planning, organizing and empowering. She is passionate about spending time with her kids, travelling and networking.