Hopscotch Heroes

This article has been first published at Hopscoth and is been republished with their consent…

Hopscotch.ae was set up in April 2016 by Helen McGuire as the first platform to source flexible work for women in the MENA region.  It has since expanded to offer initiatives, training and coaching opportunities for professional women and businesses, partnering with a breadth of multinational companies on its path to promote gender balance globally

Hopscotch Heroes is all about bringing to the fore some of the inspirational women who live and work in our region as entrepreneurs, business builders, thought leaders and opportunity creators, whilst seemingly effortlessly balancing family and personal lives.   

This month, we are very happy to bring you Maysoun Ramadan’s story as Hopscotch Hero for October.  Maysoun is Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Roche Diagnostics ME, mama to two little ones and an absolute powerhouse with total belief in the capacity of women to drive family and work forwards.  You will find her as a keynote speaker at the 19th Global WIL Economic Forum at The Ritz Carlton next week, but until then here’s her story and her six tips to help you balance your work and family life…

Hello Maysoun, tell us about what you do and how this looks on a daily basis?

Hello!  I’m Maysoun – a pharmacist in terms of background, but I started at Roche 11 years ago in sales and marketing before making the switch to Communications as my chosen career path.  My role has helped me meet my passion for staying connected to people and enjoying the art of communication while leveraging my knowledge in science.

What describes my day also describes who I am; a daughter, sister, wife, mother and a manager in a senior role with multiple responsibilities. I need to be connected, present, available and accessible for all of the above. Most of all I need to do good things and care for whoever crosses my life or happens to be in it.

Alongside your daily role at Roche, you are also mum of two young kids.  What’s your take on family and how it has impacted your life?

Family is the love you get and the support you receive.

After moving to the UAE from Jordan, my journey at Roche introduced me to a new chapter in my life. I could not have moved forward without the helping hand of my soul mate, partner, and husband Ahmad. His unconditional belief in me and the power of women, and his respect to who I am and what inspires me have all paved the way collectively to my success.

In terms of wider family, my sister has always been my shining star; actually, it’s because of her I stepped into this industry and learned what courage meant. And I can not miss the two great men in my life; my dad who made us taste the diversity as he loved and married my Turkish mother and my youngest brother, who showed us the importance of driving and embracing change.

Losing my mother has been the toughest challenge and lesson to go through. My inspiration was no more physically around yet always on my mind. This woman who empowered me to follow my dreams also was the reason why I have transformed my grief into a passion to succeed and achieve my career aspirations and goals.  It is crucial to mention at this point another helping hand – our beloved nanny, Ramona, who has shown me how empowering another woman is, in fact, empowering yourself!  She helped me discover motherhood in times when this life took my own mother away from me. I call this a working group of three, where each one of us is happy to give and bring happiness to our home, because with the right support you can bring the best out of yourself and the greatness within you.

How do you keep work and family life balanced?

It took me a few years of trial and error to figure out what work and family life balance meant! As a working mother who traveled for business, I cannot even express the chaos and guilt trips I had at the beginning or how I felt the day I had to leave my daughter at the nursery. However, as a woman, you have choices in your life and I have chosen to make it all the way to succeed at work and back home.

Here are a few tips from my side:

1) Surround yourself with the ones who inspire and teach you good values and change you to become a better person

2.) Delegate and stop being a control freak. You can know the importance of empowerment and how it can help you excel only if you empower others

3.) Ask for help and be creative. Not every working mom gets the chance to have the support of a mother (like me) or a nanny yet creativity should not stop there, other working moms will totally understand what you go through, so make sure you share and help each other. Make sure you do not become fully dependent though!

4.) Disconnect from work and live the moment. Weekends are work-ends. Take that moment which you do nothing but maybe read something or listen to calming music even if for 15 minutes

5.) Organize and prioritize your daily tasks cause I got lost when I thought everything was important. A few tables and schedules have always been very helpful

6.)  Family life and health always come first. Take care of your health; I missed that one and had to suffer for a while

So finally, what keeps you moving forward and what threatens to hold you back?

I have realized that in this life the only thing that can hold me back is losing my health. It is so precious and can lift me up or put me down.

But passion is my stamina to make people feel happy, change their lives and have a positive impact. Communications in diagnostics is a field where you can share awareness and connect, two good reasons to making people happy and keeping them healthy. With this belief and passion, I know that every day I wake up, there is one good change that is waiting for me to trigger and one wish to make come true, which is to be that great inspiration for my kids just like my mother was and still is for me!

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