Women in Business

Siemens Middle East CFO Alia Al Rifai On How Women Professionals Can Seize Career Opportunities

5 min read

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Alia Al Rifai, the Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Middle East, says it all starts with the self- advancement of women's careers begins with them being “open for opportunities, owning our careers, and being brave and confident about what you can contribute.” In this #EntMETalks episode, speaking at the sidelines of Naseba’s 19th Global Women in Leadership (WIL) Economic Forum 2017, Al Rifai says it’s the responsibility of every woman executive to share their stories to inspire others striving to climb the corporate ladder.

Al Rifai, whose career with Siemens spans close to two decades, has been a strong proponent of workplace diversity, employee empowerment and culture, while overseeing the company’s financial operations in the Middle East. Based in the UAE currently, from where she takes care of Siemens’ UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait markets, the Syrian-born Al Rifai started with Siemens as a Commercial Project Manager in Damascus, Syria, in 1997, and is a graduate of the University of Damascus.

“If you look today at a country like the UAE where we have 28% of the new Cabinet as women, [one feels] what glass ceiling,” asks Al Rifai, offering her words of advice to other women professionals. Reiterating that women should not become a barrier for themselves, she insists on a need to be bold, to be open to new ideas in your careers, and also urges all women to go ahead and try those ideas out, without any fear of failure.

Related: H.E. Noura Al Kaabi On Increasing Support For Female Entrepreneurship In The UAE

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Leading The Transition From Female Empowerment To Gender Inclusion