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Hopscotch Heroes: Rana Nawas

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 learn some lessons from Rana Nawas - ex-Senior VP of Sales at GE, President of Ellevate Dubai, host of new podcast, When Women Win, mum of two boys under three and all round superstar.  Phew.  After 17 years in the corporate world, she shares with us the pattern of her new day as an entrepreneur and just how she manages to juggle it all.  

Over to you, Rana:

"My typical day starts some time between 5 and 6.30am, depending on how well my two babies sleep. I am a “Dolphin chronotype” so I’m not the type to bound out of bed and attack the day!  But I’ve grown to love this time with the kids as I spend most of the day away from them.

When my own Mary Poppins starts work, she takes over the kids while I get ready for the day ahead. I drop my eldest child at nursery around 8 and begin my meetings at 9.  I recently left my role as Senior VP of Sales at GE after 17 years in the corporate world and I'm now focussed on the new business I am building, as well as 'When Women Win' (the podcast I recently launched).  Between that, the kids and my role as President of Ellevate Dubai (the businesswomen’s network I run), I'm kept pretty busy all day!

Yesterday, I met with an investment firm about the business I would like to set up. Did you know that at the age of 5 girls and boys have the same level of confidence but by the age of 6 girls are significantly less confident? This is the problem I would like to solve and I'm currently  meeting with investors and those involved in this area to do so!

In the afternoon I worked on my podcast, When Women Win: who I would interview and when, what order would we release the episodes in, etc. I am enjoying this passion project immensely and the feedback has been fantastic. It takes a lot of time and energy, but the women I am interviewing are amazing human beings and I am learning so much.  From Professor Bohnet’s shocking assertion that diversity training is wasted money to Kristina Kuzmic’s hack of waking her kids up by blasting ‘80s music!  I ended my day by spending time with my boys at La Mer.

Navigating the overwhelm is such a common challenge that we are dedicating Ellevate Dubai’s 2018 Forum to this topic.  In order to keep my own family wheels turning, I have had to put a few coping mechanisms in place: I’ve ditched the guilt – it’s useless and perfection doesn’t exist anyway; I’ve decided to start saying “no” – I cannot do everything always and am in the process of streamlining my activities to just 3 priorities; I’ve accepted that my calendar requires slack – it takes time and headspace to deal with unforeseen circumstances (eg two sick children) so being 100% efficient with one’s time actually reduces one’s effectiveness in the long run."

You can find Rana's podcast, When Women Win, on iTunes,, or at  For information on and to join the Ellevate Network in Dubai, head here.  And if you have any comments, please leave them below!

Posted: November 20, 2017



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