Rania Habiby Anderson
When I was 11-years-old, living in India, a question began to haunt me:
“Why did I have the opportunity to study and apply my education, while so many other girls from my part of the world did not have the same opportunities?”
There had to be reason.
I grew up in the desert, literally and figuratively. I grew up in the Middle East – a place where it was, and often still is, difficult for women to have the freedom to seek career and business success.
Yet, just like seeing water in an oasis, I constantly saw examples of highly-educated women who had careers and businesses, and who even in the 1970s, had figured a way to have what they wanted!
But through the years I wondered why in the news do we always hear about obstacles women are facing in developing and emerging economies around the world? We never hear about the millions of women that are succeeding, despite the obstacles they may face.
Like many of the women I’ve met, and who you’ll meet here, my family and especially my father believed in me. He often said that the greatest gift he could give his children was the gift of education. And so, I had the opportunity when I was 16-years-old to attend university in the United States. One of my professors in my Masters program at Georgetown University was former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. That was my first hand experience with a woman who had achieved the highest level of success in her field.
After graduate school, I began a career in banking working for two institutions which ultimately became part of Bank of America. At the fast-growing bank, I had many training, development and job opportunities. Delivering results and with the guidance of mentors and sponsors, I enjoyed fast track career progression. I left the corporate world in 1997 to start and grow a business consulting and executive coaching practice. Over time, I focused my coaching, work, volunteer efforts and mentoring exclusively on women.
All these experiences led me to answer that question that had continued to nag at me. The answer was that educated women who have opportunities are supposed to clear paths to enable more women to succeed.
This is why, in 2010, I created The Way Women Work, the first online career guidance platform for women in growth economies. My expertise, experiences, education and heritage, have prepared me to share culturally relevant career and business advice with you. Throughout my life, no matter where I was, I have always seen women succeeding – so here, we focus on the ways women succeed, not on what’s holding them back.
Take a look around. You’ll find advice, tools and inspiration from me, and women like you, all around the world.
If you’d like to have me come speak at your company or event contact me here.
Director of Community Engagement, FREELANCE
When I met Rania in 2011, I was going through my first career crisis. We hit it off immediately, and I couldn’t believe my good fortune. She helped me through my first-ever salary negotiation, and even through difficult changes at work after that. She was a lifesaver, and we began a lifelong friendship/working relationship.
In 2012, I took a leap and started my own consulting business. It was then I began to work part-time for The Way Women Work. I got to interview women all over the world on Skype and on email, write their stories, and build our diverse community online. We even traveled to Brazil and Argentina in 2013 to interview amazing corporate women and entrepreneurs for her groundbreaking book, UNDETERRED.
It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of The Way Women Work, and help develop and grow its brand, marketing strategy, and connect personally with so many women who are also pursuing dreams and the life they imagine. Even today as I write this, I never stop feeling inspired from the women we have met and written about on this site and in the book. Now, unliked when I began in 2012, I am working mom and breadwinner for my family – I hold so many of the stories we’ve gathered and the advice the women have shared even more closely! It is from them and Rania that I have learned tips about how to best blend work and life, and create my own definitions of success.
I started my career at an international global nonprofit called Water.org in 2008 when they weren’t yet known and I convinced them to let me intern and show them what I was made of. In 2012, when I started at The Way Women Work, I also began part-time work for a cybersecurity software company called SpiderOak, where I now work full-time as the Chief Communications Officer.
In each role I’ve had, it’s always been important to me to be passionate, challenged, and keep growing and learning in my career. It’s a privilege and what drives me. I feel so thankful that I met Rania when I did, and now I get to watch her speak to other women all over the world and impact their lives and careers in the same way she has mine. It’s a honor to support her a little bit still, and further the important and trailblazing work she is doing.
Thanks for visiting our site and being a part of our community!
writer and contributor
I am passionate about women working together to develop their visions and professional goals.
Growing up in remote Uzbekistan, I was acutely aware of the ways my English education opened unique opportunities. After transitioning into high school in Istanbul, Turkey, I developed a strong interest in languages and began studying Turkish as well as Farsi and Tajik. A few years later, I began studying Arabic in Jordan during my undergraduate years, then continued studying with Saudi friends that I met during my Master’s program in Intercultural Communication at Southern Illinois University.
Before coming to The Way Women Work, I was running a small women’s mentoring and tutoring business in Southern Illinois that worked with small groups and individuals to navigate the U.S. educational system, strengthen English language skills, and bridge cultural gaps. One of my greatest thrills is being able to use my skills and access behind the scenes to help women overcome the obstacles between them and their passions.
Thank you for being a part of our growing global community! You inspire us on a daily basis. Please reach out and share your expertise with us – contact us here!