The Leader Magazine

JUN 2018

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CoreNet Global women demonstrate professional passion and perseverance by Erin Ganaway Mamwa Laden Akbari F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 18 June 2018 the leader G loria Mamwa is regional head of Property, Africa and Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank. She has a background in facilities management and interior design, and she is currently pursuing her MBA in project management. All this, and she mothers three sons. What drives her to succeed? Without hesitation, Mamwa states, "I have an inner drive and faith that I can achieve greatness." When Mamwa has a spare moment – and she does find spare moments despite a full life – she takes to the outdoors for a hike or a run. Asked about her favorite hikes, she exclaims, "Ohhh! We've got excellent terrain in Kenya. You need to come over!" It was a tempting invitation, to be sure. Core values, risk-taking, strong vision. Though they might be divided by far-reaching time zones and expansive geographical distances, the women interviewed here all seem to be made of similar stuff. Or as Becky Laden calls it, "grit and perseverance, along with passion for the (corporate real estate) profession." Laden is based in California as workplace strategy leader at Symantec. Like Mamwa, she has a background in interior design. She also has years of experience in strategic planning, support and planning of global world-class workplaces. When challenged to name one woman who inspires her, Laden says, "There are so many women who inspire me. I don't typically follow the rules, so I can't pick just one. The women I find most inspiring all have one thing in common, perseverance. These are women who have overcome great obstacles and made it on their own while paving a path for others." Fellow Californian Nadira Akbari states, "I took some risks early on, and I really believed in myself in trying to create and carve a different path. I always envisioned how I wanted my career to take form, and I kept that vision anytime I had difficulties or setbacks. I think that really helped me stick to that path and accomplish those goals." And, as a Young Leader who has already positioned herself as vice president at Avison Young, those early career risks seem to have paid off. f inding a mentor But success doesn't come without its challenges. Many of these women cite mentorship and positive leaders as guiding lights through difficult times. Jane Muir-Sands, based in London as vice president of Workplace and Travel Services for Unilever, says, "There have been times when I have faced challenges and my greatest learning has been to get a coach or mentor that can really hold the mirror up and ask the difficult questions. My personal preference is that they should be from a completely different

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