Rana GhandourSalhab, Deloitte Middle East partner and its regional Executive Committee member, was named as the number one global champion of women in business by Financial Times and HERoes in their inaugural 2017 Global Champions of Women in Business list.

The FT HERoes lists celebrate company leaders who support women in business. A judging panel scored each person on the seniority and influence of their role, their internal and external work to champion women, their recent and significant business achievements, and the testimonial that was provided with their nomination. The role models were required to be visible and vocal champions, working to create an environment in which women can be comfortable and professional at work.

Rana Salhab, Talent & Communications partner at the firm, was the first woman elected to the board of directors of Deloitte in the Middle East region. Along her career path, she worked on female advancement programs in the Firm, which increased the ratio of women to men across the Middle East.

Omar Fahoum, CEO of Deloitte, Middle East said, “We are honored to have Rana listed amongst the FT and HERoes global champions of women. Rana used her personal success as a springboard for the firm and its people, working to address gender diversity at all levels. Our journey is still ongoing. We are with noticeable improvements in women representation across all levels. To achieve this, we are taking bold steps that also include setting clear gender targets/quotas to attract and retain top talented women and provide them with the support required to progress in their careers.”

Salhab is also an active and vocal champion of women advancement in Middle East communities. She speaks frequently on obstacles that prevent Arab women from being more economically active in the region and lobbies for modification of laws and regulations to reach gender equality. She sits on the advisory boards of professional bodies and other non-profit organizations that work at identifying challenges facing Arab women and implementing solutions, and networks to address them.

Salhab concluded: “More women than men gain a university education in many Middle Eastern countries, but when it comes to accessing capital and jobs, and assuming leadership positions in both the private and public sectors, the positions are reversed. I believe economics, and business case positioning, rather than only the “rights” proposition, will ultimately win the gender parity argument. While some progress on women’s rights has been made in our region, and significant social and economic changes have played a role in supporting Arab women’s workforce participation, much still remains to be done. I believe it is my and every business leader’s responsibility to our communities to take a leading role in supporting Arab women’s political and economic advancement.”

Link to the FT ranking article Link to FT HERoes ranking: 2017 champions of women in business

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