Deloitte's Rana Ghandour Salhab named champion of diversity on global list

02 October 2018 4 min. read

Deloitte Middle East’s Rana Ghandour Salhab has featured in fifth on a global list of diversity champions in business as compiled by the Financial Times, lauded for her work as a role model and advocate for the advancement of gender equality in the region.

Serving as a partner in Deloitte Middle East’s talent and communications operations, one of the first females to be admitted to the firm’s regional partnership, Rana Ghandour Salhab has for the second consecutive year featured at the pointy end of the Financial Times’ ‘HERoes; champions of women in business’ list of 200 professionals worldwide who have made a substantial difference to women’s careers – following her number one placing last year.

Having been with Deloitte in the Middle East for over 15 years, following a five-year stint as a director of human resources for Andersen based out of Cairo, the Lebanese-born Salhab is now a member of Deloitte Middle East’s executive committee and formerly its board of directors, while overseeing HR, brand and communications, corporate responsibility, and security across the 15 countries and 22 offices of the Big Four firm’s MENA division.

In addition to being a role model, Salhab has been a staunch advocate for the economic advancement of women, internally, such as through the development of the firm’s local DRAW (Deloitte retention and advancement of women) initiatives, and across the Middle East in general, featuring as a regular speaker and lobbyist on the subject of gender equality and the professional roadblocks faced by women of the Arab world.Deloitte's Rana Ghandour Salhab named champion of diversity on global listThis advocacy has seen Salhab serve in a number of capacities and on numerous boards for organisations in the region which seek to address the challenges of gender advancement and innovate solutions, including as an Executive Board member of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, which advises the Lebanese government, as well as on the advisory board of Reach, an DIFC incorporated organisation aimed at mentoring women in finance in Dubai.

On last year’s selection, Omar Fahoum, CEO of Deloitte Middle East said of Salhab and her impact on the firm; “We are honored to have Rana listed amongst the FT and HERoes global champions of women. Rana used her personal success as a springboard for the firm and its people, working to address gender diversity at all levels. Our journey is still ongoing. We are with noticeable improvements in women representation across all levels.”

Fahoum added that the firm is “taking bold steps that also include setting clear gender targets/quotas to attract and retain top talented women and provide them with the support required to progress in their careers,” which, since Salhab’s appearance on last year’s list, has included a fresh initiative to increase female representation in the firm’s traditionally male-dominated cyber practices – with the Women in Cyber project launching in the region after a successful debut in the UK in 2015. 

Recent plaudits

Salhab’s latest accolade is just one in a recent string for the firm both locally and globally, with Forbes just last month naming Dubai-based Partner and Middle East Audit Director of Operations Cynthia Corby among the 100 most influential women in the Middle East for 2018, while at a global level, Deloitte was named in Fortune’s prestigious 2018 ‘Change the World’ list, and as a top-five most attractive employer via a worldwide survey of almost 230,000 business and engineering/IT students conducted by employer branding consultancy Universum.

Meanwhile, also at the global level, Salhab was joined on the ‘HERoes; champions of women in business’ list by UK-based Deloitte colleagues Emma Codd, Managing Partner for Talent, and in the male category, David Sproul, Senior Partner & Chief Executive Officer. Altogether, more than two dozen members of the professional services sector featured across the female, male and future leaders lists, as nominated by their peers and selected by a panel with the requirement they be visible and vocal champions “working to create an environment in which women can succeed.”