Top Career Advice of 2014 from Women in Emerging Markets

Looking back over 2014, we’ve compiled the top career advice from our network of undeterred professional women in emerging economies around the world, for your benefit.

These 26 women’s words are inspiring, challenging, and redefining success for working women in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Undeterred 2015 fwYou can see why we’re declaring 2015 ‘The Year of the Undeterred Woman’! Join us by using the hashtag #undeterred, and keep an eye out for news about Rania’s new book to be released in the New Year, Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies.


“In today’s work world, we have to ask for what we want and need in order to have success.” – Ritika Bajaj, India

“I believe that we need to constantly set new, more complex goals.” – Margarita Avdeeva, Russia

“Whatever you do, you need to do it with patience and to accumulate experience to master a skill.”- Coral Zhang, China

“The most important thing is your reputation –  that will carry you further.” – Yoanna Gouchtchina, Russia

“Pass on your acquired knowledge. I am in that process of sharing, and I am excited to teach what I know.” – Yliana del Carmen García Vásquez, Peru


“Career-only success is not success. Success means success within your self, with your family and in life, which includes your career.” – Nubia Correia, Brazil

“That is what is different from men and women: men look at career goals as a determinant, but women look at ‘How much fun will the role be? What can I learn?’ I see this a lot in my friends.” – Shalini Puchalapalli, India

“I took a few months off of work, traveled and did some soul-searching. And when I came back I realized I was going to start my own business. People were shocked, and said ‘How can you leave the corporate environment without anything?’ But, I had always had an idea to set up my own business but, it was never the right time. Last year was the right time.” – Leila Rezaiguia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

“Love your choices.” – Payal Gandhi Hoon, India

“Contribute more than what you are expected! You make the job what it is-That’s what’s important if you want to lead and succeed.” But, she also feels strongly that women should remember, “You are more than your job profile.” – Qian Liu, China

“If you want something, be ready.” – Vania Neves, Brazil

“What am I capable of? What would I like to do? What am I good in?” – Sasha Olenina, Russia

“One of the greatest things, I remember [my mentor] helped me with was to clear my mind with social pressure, since I was haunted by one question: What is your passion?’” – Lucila Suarez Battan, Argentina

“I want to be one of the best at what I do. Once you have that authority, people will come to you for advice, clients will come to you! You don’t need to worry about getting paid. Once you are the expert in one field, the law of attraction comes into play – people will be drawn to you. Find your niche and become the expert!” – Liheng Bai, China

“[The core of my success] is being a little selfish…Women are so worried about what others think, what others say and what others need. I think what’s most important is for me to understand what makes me feel happy, what makes me feel ok and what I like to do every day.” – Flavia da Hora, Brazil


“Mistakes, everybody will do. The greatest enemy is fear – fear of mistakes. One can survive if you can learn from your mistakes, but many people don’t allow themselves to make mistakes.” – Marta Harff, Argentina

“Women do not need to block their vision and think there is nothing left for them! They should always move forward.” – Alena Vladimirskaya, Russia

“Success lies on the far side of failure. To be successful you need to fail faster; double your rate of failure.”  – Hope Mwinzi, Kenya

“Your biggest obstacle is yourself. I overcame [one of my greatest obstacles of navigating workplace politics by] paying more attention to how senior leaders’ deal with critical issues and learnt from them.” Anna Liu, China

“Starting my own company was much, much harder than I thought it would be—and I did think it would be the hardest thing I had ever done. But making the decision to say ‘we failed’ and shut our company down was even harder. Even though we got so many things wrong, I am glad we tried. I am sad that we failed, but so proud…” – Unmana Datta, India

“My main message is ‘You are the only person who can convince yourself you can do it!’” – Maria Luisa, Argentina

I also learned that some mistakes are inevitable and that pushes us to be strong.  I used to fear mistakes and failure. But, now I accept my failures and learn from them.” – Ma. Christine Isabel Donato, Philippines

“To overcome [my] difficulties, first I had to adjust my state of mind, dare to keep trying, and dare to embrace the ‘failure’ state of mind.” – Angel Xue, China


“Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a way of improving the quality of your life. You have to pay for it, but weigh the cost against the benefits you get. Your time is precious. Why not make the most of it?” – Namrataa Arora Singh, India

“Women should learn to balance their life and make work part of their lives – not as separate entities. Deal with what you can, let go what you cannot! (Tongue-in-cheek observation: unfolded clothes are not as important as a hot meal!)” – Patricea D Cruz, Malaysia

“Women are often afraid to say ‘no’ to opportunities at certain points in their career. You should not worry about missing opportunities. Sometimes you have to make decisions that allow you to be at peace with yourself. I believe that strongly.” – Haifa Dia Al-Attia, Jordan

Erin Risner

Director of Community Engagement

Writer. Creative. Brand Strategist. Content Curator. Social Media and Marketing Maven. Passionate about connecting with women around the world and telling their success stories.