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Insights Our Stakeholder Manager in KSA

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Mona yahya

Business Support and Stakeholder Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I grew up as one of those children where numbers simply made sense. I was fascinated by every mathematics subject as I progressed through my education and quickly decided that a math-oriented field would ultimately be the best fit. 

As a result, I graduated with honours from Princess Norah University in Riyadh with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Given my interest in community development, I started and led the accounting club as well as another student clubs. As my accounting career progressed, I worked at an international company for three years as a Treasury accountant. This role developed my accounting and finance skills as I consistently assisted the CFO. It also equipped me with the ability to work in multinational and multicultural environment.  

Tell us about your journey working in Atkins? 

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that things always work out how they are supposed to. By the end of 2019 and start of 2020, I had decided to look for a new challenge in my life with a new industry as well, so I joint Atkins as Regional Project Accountant. I was seeking a way to become more expert in Financial Planning and Analysis, to have the possibility of working on giga projects, and to provide information and analysis to help the business make informative decisions about the Company's strategies, operational plans, and capital expenditures. I have found these opportunities at Atkins, and I have developed a noticeable excitement for this role to be a good financial specialist. I was a key finance point of contact supporting Cost Management, Commercial, Financial Control, Project Management and programme director for our big projects. 

In 2022, I took on a new role as Business Support and Stakeholder Manager, which has given me the opportunity to gain a lot of exceptional and enriching knowledge to further improve my interpersonal skills, leadership style, and my understanding of our businesses. My role encompasses many aspects, such as stakeholder management, culture and change management, project management, cost and risk management, and client management.  

I’m extremely delighted with this achievement as I’m able to have more impact on our company and its culture. I firmly believe that life is not only about achieving our daily tasks, but it is certainly about people. Human capital can be an essential driving force for any company’s success.  

What’s the best thing about being a Business Support and Stakeholder Manager? 

The culture and people that I work with absolutely motivates me every day. It’s an epic blend between a multicultural and connected community. The best thing when working with stakeholders is that they are people; the stakeholders will have different ideas, perceptions, opinions about what you are trying to achieve, different motivations, and drivers that could dictate how they respond to your interactions with them. 

In addition, I extremely enjoy working with my team and encouraging them to take on more challenging tasks. Building a strong and highly skilled team can be challenging, but it’s certainly rewarding as I see people grow responsibility over time. 

When you are working to deliver on a project, there will be numerous people involved, all of whom will be impacted to varying degrees. To ensure the success of your project, you need to gain their support and build co-operative relationships that enable its completion. That is the ultimate purpose to work with people. Statistically speaking, attending various meetings and conferences, etc. Therefore, having the opportunity to interact with all stakeholders would considerably add to my knowledge and skills 

As a client facing company representative, I feel motivated to extensively learn about our industry in terms of operation, strategy, aspirations, various business units, and culture. This will certainly help me to further develop my business acumen and become a more experienced female professional.  

Obviously, another important skill that can be gained by presenting the company is my communication skills. When presenting certain data to a group of people, we would need to take people’s understanding of businesses into consideration. Therefore, knowing how to interact with different stakeholders (top management and employees) can significantly foster my communications skills.  

What is the most challenging thing about your job?  

First, our most important learning experiences come from prolonged engagement in a challenging process. As humans, we are wired to enjoy the process, so don't run from it. Challenging yourself helps you to build confidence and think in a different way. The important part is finding a balance so that the task is difficult enough to remain interesting but not so difficult that it discourages you from continuing or experimenting with new ideas - it should be just on the edge. Some of the challenges that I typically encourage are the following:

Alignment: how to make sure all my team members’ interests are aligned with the company’s overall interest. 

Mutual outcomes: How I embrace conflicts, and how I can provide a culture that encourages cooperation so all parties involved can benefit. I must know how I can create mutual outcomes that consider all our needs and goals. 

Prioritisation: How I seek to set priorities based on maximising value to internal and external stakeholders while minimising the cost to our business. Also, how I can put the intelligent roadmap which we use to manage and align all stakeholders with clearly defined features that move us closer to our goal or vision. 

I always keep in my mind that; the challenging tasks will help me to stay hungry to learn and make things more fun. 

What motivates your career and drives you to keep going?

I frequently get a great sense of job satisfaction when I have worked hard to complete tasks successfully. Thus, I’m motivated by the fact that my help genuinely makes a difference by delivering results with clients. In the end, being a part of a successful project is a deeply rewarding experience and it gives me a lot of pride and satisfaction. 

Furthermore, being an employee at Atkins motivates me to continuously improve, learn new skills, and strengthen existing ones to overcome the fear of becoming stagnant. I thrive on learning and challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone and be that person who has no fear of change! 

Lastly, one of my biggest motivators is gratitude, so I am grateful for the things I experience and can accomplish.  

What advice could you give to other Saudi women to thrive in management? 

I passionately advocate for the next generation of talented female leaders and here are some key advice I would give: 

  • Find a mentor who has mentors. You’re never done learning in this field. The best mentor is someone who always pushes you to keep learning and give you many ways to think. 
  • Sit with the ambitious leaders on the same table and observe and keep observing. 
  • You'll never feel ready if you listen to your fear-based mind! so release it 
  • You should create a genuine impact and build a strong personal brand based upon integrity, passion, and a ferocious desire to serve others
  • Learn from your failures and keep striving forward. 
  • Listening. Listeners make the best leaders.