Meet the 2019 Honorees! Noha Georges, Managing Director; CMO; COO, Deloitte & Touche

Noha is the Managing Director, CMO, and COO at Deloitte & Touche

What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?

The inability to advocate for myself. Growing up in Egypt, I stood out among my peers. For example, I was number four out of five million people in national math rankings. But when I moved to the United States 21 years ago, I struggled to find a job after graduating from college despite two years of work experience. The feedback I received was that I didn’t have the right experience. When I finally did get a job through a connection, my offer was $15K less than other employees. Their response: “We’re paying you less because we don’t know if you are able to deliver the same way as your colleagues with U.S. expertise.” Rather than object, I accepted the salary and became laser-focused on proving I could not only match my colleagues but exceed them and ensure that people were aware of my performance. Since then, I’ve made a point to tell members of my teams to stand up for themselves and feel confident that their voice is as important as any other voice in the room. Our best advocates are ourselves. 

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the workplace?

The main advantage of being a woman in the workplace is that the skills needed in today’s business landscape align with the skills inherent in many women: collaboration, communication, and negotiation. Women — and men — who possess these skills have a better chance at solving complex challenges and building successful careers. The disadvantage of being a woman in the workplace is being passed over for opportunities to prove ourselves. We tend to downplay our accomplishments and stay in our comfort zone. When we do that, we don’t stand out or get noticed. Some women don’t feel empowered to advocate for themselves, and I’m on a mission to change that. 

What do you think women in the workplace have today that they didn’t have before?

More role models. As more women break through barriers — becoming CEOs, board members and entrepreneurs — the women who follow will have more examples to emulate. In addition, I believe more men are doing their part to advocate for diversity and equality. They are realizing the value women can bring to an organization. We still have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to see men’s thoughts on inclusion evolve.

What do you think the next generation of women marketers will have that the present one does not?

I believe it’s important for women marketers to embrace technology and tackle their careers with an innovative mindset. In the past, technology has been viewed more as part of men’s domain. But there’s no reason why women, especially women in marketing, cannot lead when it comes to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to make an impact on their organizations, their communities and society as a whole. It’s important for marketers to add digital tools of today like automation, analytics and cognitive technologies to their toolbox and be on the lookout for — or better yet, create — the tools of tomorrow.

 

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