For many women, having other women as role models can give you the inspiration, drive, and support to achieve success in your career.
Hana Shiraz, for one, is a big advocate! She believes in women’s ability to support and positively influence company culture and create meaningful impact. And so does her company, Deloitte.
Recently promoted as Manager in one of Deloitte’s fastest growing offerings, Industrial Redesign and Innovation, Hana manages day-to-day tasks and outcomes, from inception to delivery.
“Working in the government sector, I assess and analyze our clients’ supply network to identify potential risks and opportunities from their suppliers (beyond immediate supplier relationships). I also propose and help implement supply resilience strategies to strengthen supply chains.”
Hana shares insights about her diverse background, growth into leadership, and the unique contribution of the women in consultant and leadership roles at Deloitte.
A career “180”
Has your career journey been like a ladder, or more like a series of winding pathways and jumps? These days, career pivots are becoming more natural and even, expected.
Interestingly, Hana always thought she’d build her career at NASA, working in a lab. She completed her PhD in Materials Engineering, a STEMM discipline. So, it surprises people when she tells them she doesn’t work in this area.
Her career journey has taken a few unexpected twists.
“After completing my studies, I received my first job at the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) under the Department of Defence, as a governance analyst. I then moved to DMTC (formerly, the Defence Materials Technology Centre) for a role as a Maritime Program Coordinator. I was able to take my experience in Defence to work at Deloitte in this sector. I’m still not sure how I ended up in supply chain strategy but I’m glad I did.”
Hana knew working at one of Australia’s Big Four leaders would be an exciting challenge.
“A short time after I started, I realized that every day was different and every challenge unique. I was either finding a different solution to the same problem or finding a different problem with a different solution altogether. I saw many similarities with my Ph.D. in this regard and I love that no workday is ever the same!”
From Hana’s experience, it’s safe to say career shifts can lead you to surprising places. All the experiences you gain can build on one another and lead you to your next step.
Women as role models and mentors matter
Women as role models, mentors, and managers have the power to help others find their voice, bridge the gaps, and drive real change.
But sometimes they’re not easy to find.
This has been true for Hana throughout her journey in male-dominated areas, STEMM, Defence, and currently in consulting.
“One of the biggest challenges previously for me has been having less representation of women as leaders at the top to draw inspiration from or aspire to be.”
But Deloitte has helped Hana overcome this challenge by progressing her to leadership, and actively advocating for more women in consulting and manager roles.
“I’m grateful Deloitte actively sought to promote me, without me having to apply. It’s built my confidence to perform at my best. I’m proud to influence our diversity and inclusion practices in the firm and hope to use my lived experiences to empower other women with the confidence to become leaders.”
Our culture makes all the difference. I’m lucky to work with an incredible group of confident, observant, extremely smart, and ambitious people.”
Does personality influence your chance at leadership?
Now that Hana has become a manager and role model herself, she shares an interesting take on the impact personality has on leadership.
“I’m extremely extroverted! I could make friends with a lamp post,” she laughs.
While research suggests extraversion can be an advantage in achieving leadership positions, Hana believes it’s less about personality and more about your unique qualities.
“Building a relationship with your team and maintaining genuine connections with them can significantly make work so much better. I enjoy coffee chats and lunches with my colleagues, confiding in them during trying times, and leaning on them for help when I need it knowing I will never be turned down. The team you work for and with can have a major impact on your output and attitude, especially during challenging times in a project. With a solid connected team, even when work gets tough, it’s always worth doing it for the team.”
Ultimately, Hana is proud to be part of Deloitte’s purpose of making an impact that matters, which in the case of her clients is preparing them for the future, while continuing to grow as an individual and have an impact on company culture.