With inclusivity highlighted as one of the Group’s 2015 focus areas, BMMI aims to enhance and tackle women’s empowerment and reduce gender gaps. It confirms the company’s commitment in recognising the critical role women play in accelerating progress in development and advancing global success and prosperity.
BMMI Director, Mona Almoayyed believes, “every woman is blessed with the infinite potential to achieve the impossible, if she desires and believes in herself.”
Ranked by Forbes as one of the most powerful Arab women last year, Mona Almoayyed has celebrated a number of “firsts” for women in the Middle East. In an interview with CSR Manager, Yasmin Hussain, Mona shares her story and offers guidance to inspire and motivate, in order to reach your full potential.
Who is this powerful woman? For our employees based overseas, Mona Almoayyed is the Managing Director of Bahrain based Y.K. Almoayyed & Sons, a diverse conglomerate of businesses specialising in trading, contracting, concrete products, air-conditioning, telecom services and property development.
Striving to draw the right balance being a mother, wife and businesswoman, Mona is a dedicated advocate and pioneer for women in an industry dominated by men. But how does she do it?
With a gentle smile, she discusses the reality of the challenges she had to face along the way. Being a woman, she constantly felt like she had to work twice as hard. It was difficult for her to deal with the false assumptions of a woman’s capabilities.
However, since a young age, Mona always knew she wanted to make a difference and she had vision to prove herself, to her father and family that she was as qualified and capable as her brothers. It is this hard work and determination that landed her in a managerial position in their family business.
Over time, through learning on the job and experience, Mona led the business to great heights and continued to grow - into the position of where she is today. Some of her initiatives included introducing greater transparency and accountability across the Group, with the appointment of audit and remuneration committees, introducing ISO certifications and embedding corporate social responsibility.
Social customs at times were frustrating, but her ‘never give up’ attitude and strong self-belief continued to motivate her purpose.
It is undeniable that preconceptions of a woman’s capabilities existed then and still exist today. But thankfully Mona says, “times are changing for women, even in the Arab world. Barriers are being lifted”.
As the former president of the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society, a group that aims to highlight the issues surrounding women at work, it is thanks to Mona the women of Bahrain can now work part time. After introducing part time work at Y. K. Almoayyed, with her influence she succeeded in convincing the Ministry of Labour to recognise these part time workers had a role to play in the work force. This example represents how a simple internal decision succeeded in making change at a national level.
What has been one of her proudest moments? Being the first woman elected to the Board of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the first woman to be elected to a publicly traded company, our very own BMMI.
Mona’s tips for success:
• Define your purpose
• Be determined
• Believe in yourself
• Be sincere
• Be compassionate to all
• Do not forget your human side; be humble and down to earth
• Work hard and persevere
• Be honest and honourable
As the interview comes to a close, Mona smiles and and concludes with a final piece of advice, one of the most important factors of a women’s success is having men who believe and support her. In her case her father, brother and husband were to be credited for her success.