Yvonne Chebib, Senior Business Manager at Microsoft
1. You participated to the Women Talent Pool 2nd Edition as one the Emerging Leaders. Could you please share with the Talents of the third Edition what were the main takeaways from this experience? What did you like the most about the WTP?
I attended many conferences and programs on women in Leadership, all had values in different ways but this program was very different. This program was a combination of all the things I love, from providing the talents with the skills, insights, networking and communication tips, to top-notch speakers who offered their perspective and personal experience on several aspects of professional development to help younger women navigate the paths to leadership and at the same time giving them access to women leaders across the network.
I enjoyed in person training sessions that tackled different aspects of leadership starting by understanding cultural differences, to navigate the leadership as a Resilient woman. In many circumstances at work I remember the advices from panelists when they shared their personal experiences of professional development and many times I keep reminding myself of these points.
A tremendous benefit of the program is meeting amazing talents, discussing, sharing our own experiences and building a network of support. Another element that I love about it and why it is different is that it is as well business oriented and doesn’t focus only on women challenges and work-life balance. We had mind engaging discussions with inspiring panelists on different subjects like Inclusive Growth, Sustainable competitiveness, sustainable job creation, European economic resilience. to name a few
2. On the contrary, what were the sessions you wished to see more or to be done differently?
I would highly recommend to keep the format (building skills & panels) and the in person meetings twice a year as I believe it serves the aim of building an effective network. Have a social media network where we can be more engaged and connected as a network to share ideas, thoughts throughout the year. I would love to see more workshops virtual like those we have with INSEAD or in person during our events addressing the new wave of “building your own Brand” besides understanding of own leadership style and more “effective communication tools & tips”. I think we need to have more executive men presence in the audience; It adds to the aim of understanding diverse leaders’ perspectives and give them access to women leaders and talents. Finally, more clarity and more communication about the timeline of the event would be appreciated.
3. You are currently Senior Business Manager at Microsoft How would you describe your current role and what do you like the most about your job?
What I love the most about my job is that it puts you at a level of understanding all aspects of the organization. It is a very hectic job because you’re around operations, but you also must understand all aspects of the business, you have to understand the stakeholders, to deal with them. The beauty of the job is that you’re constantly learning during your journey in Microsoft.
4. Your current job is in Dubai. Did you find difficult to adapt your working methods to a different business culture?
Dubai is very open. It is one of the leading country in regards of the opportunities given to women. They really push for diversity, and especially gender diversity at every level of the leadership scale. it is something I witness every day. In that regards, I would say the adaption was easy.
5. Looking at your professional background, you founded your own company V – Accelerate, before joining Microsoft, and you were also Managing Director of Innosoft Solutions, an IT and Business Solutions company and Sales Director with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Did you see your diverse and non-linear career’s path as an asset?
Exactly, it’s a non-linear and disruptive career’s path. I experienced two disruptive movements that made me grow both personally and professionally. First, when I first move to work for Alcatel Lucent, where I end up being sales director for the group. Second, is when I created my own star-up, which was a platform matching investors with entrepreneurs in ICT, e-commerce, animation and digital space. I learnt a lot from these previous experiences and I keep learning now that I’m Microsoft.
6. On the professional level, what are your plans for the next years? Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years for example?
So far, I’m very happy in Microsoft. It is a great company to be part of, and I’m very passionate about continuing my career in Microsoft, because they value their all their employees, and always encourage them to achieve more. They stand for gender diversity, for equality and I think those are great values to fight for.