Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hi - I'm Rana Nawas, President of the Ellevate Dubai Chapter, and SVP of Capital Markets for GE Capital Aviation Services. I'm half Palestinian and half Lebanese, born in the UK and raised in Dubai. I'm an engineer by training and a problem-solver by nature. I love interacting with people and I seek every opportunity to do so, professionally and personally! I'm currently focused on juggling - I have a full-time job and a toddler and a husband and am 7 months pregnant, so I'm trying to define my way of keeping it all together. I believe this is an intensely personal journey and am working through it slowly.
How would you define your professional mission?
Deliver results in an uncertain world.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
Winning a deal that nobody in my organization thought I could win. A few years ago I got an airline to lease my jets that had a different engine type to the one they had - their entire fleet had the competition's product, so it was the ultimate uphill battle. The entrenched fleet was such a huge obstacle and the internal machine was so skeptical of our success that resourcing the deal was minimal. When he thought I was being falsely optimistic about our chances, my boss sighed "Look, we know you've done everything you can - don't worry if you can't close it." I saw an opportunity and got him to agree that if I closed this deal he would send me to Harvard Business School to do a negotiations course (I'd wanted to do that course for years!) I closed the deal - a highly strategic one for my company - and I went on to do the course, which was fabulous. The airline and I continue to enjoy a fantastic relationship.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Knowing that I am part of the best aircraft leasing team in the world. I love being part of an A team, and solving big problems that few institutions are equipped to solve.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
That my customers will always remember how hard I fought for them, how much I cared.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
My professional superpower is easier to answer :) Building relationships. Across all countries, industries and organizational levels. This comes so naturally to me that for years I didn't realize it was a "skill.” After so many performance appraisals citing it is my biggest strength, I finally realized that just because it comes easily does not make it any less valuable!
What does success look like to you?
To me, success is being happy. We make thousands of choices every day and I think it is critical to be comfortable with (the majority of) them. No professional success can justify my being miserable in life! To me, being happy = challenging, rewarding job + enough quality time with my loved ones + enough downtime for myself. I'm not always there, but I have visited that place so I know it exists!
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Always do what is best for you.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Connect with other working moms as often as possible. What we do on a daily basis can be so tough, but having friends or colleagues to talk to really helps relieve the burden and remind us that perfection never existed!
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I became a member because I met two incredible ladies at a Dubai event (the annual forum, actually), and they became very good friends of mine. I really enjoy meeting like-minded women, especially as I tend to be more inspired by peers (the everyday working mom) than far-away idols I have never met.
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Creator & Host
When Women Win Podcast
I am a quad-lingual businesswoman on a mission to inspire women to shine. Over the course of my 17-year corporate career spanning McKinsey & Company’s London Office, the Dubai Government and GE Capital, I pioneered new markets, launched new products, led diverse and virtual teams, won business all over the world and developed strong relationships. I also led the charge in rewriting corporate policies that impact women, championed pay parity and helped women rise in... Continue Reading
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