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Insights Driving our Commitments Towards a Net Zero Future in the Middle East

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Driving our Commitments Towards A Net Zero Future in the Middle East 


As the Director of Sustainability, Najla Baeshen will drive our company's commitment to sustainability in the region. Working closely with various teams and clients, she will help identify innovative solutions to design, create, and operate assets sustainably. Her role will also include delivering the company's ESG and decarbonization regional strategy, as well as striving towards circularity, reduced carbon emissions, and a Net Zero future. 

Learn more about her career journey and leadership lessons. 

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to lead a career in sustainability? 

A: "Throughout my career, my work has had various aspects of sustainability and environmental elements. At one point, I came across a report published by the World Economic Forum entitled 'Shaping the Future of Construction: A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology.' That was my first exposure to the concept of the circular economy. I learned more on the importance for our industry to make the transition to circularity and the practices, enablers and challenges of making the shift. Once I gained that knowledge, I could not go back to delivering projects with the 'business as usual' mindset and practices and decided to focus my efforts in the sustainability and circular economy space since." 

Q: What's the most important leadership lesson you've learned? 

A: “Leaders who lead with empathy are better able to understand the needs and motivations of their team. They are in a better position to build strong relationships with and among their team members which creates a more positive, cohesive and productive work environment. Another important one, especially in today’s environment, is the need to encourage creativity and innovation by creating a culture that values experimentation.” 

Q: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking? 

A: "I learned to embrace risk-taking by managing my fear of failure, and I learned to manage my fear of failure by taking small, calculated risks. Failure is a natural part of risk-taking. I didn’t see it as a negative experience; I used it as an opportunity to learn and build my confidence.  I also surrounded myself with people who are comfortable with taking risks, and I learned from their experiences. Learning to embrace risk-taking is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek support and guidance from others. 

Q: What advice can you give to help plan and inspire a career? And in particular as a female professional? 

A: "Start by assessing your values, interests and skills. Consider what you are passionate about and what motivates you. Also, build a strong network with solid relationships in your desired field – attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with people on professional social media platforms. Your network is a source for all the much-needed elements needed to navigate your career, so devote time to nurture real relationships with people who are aligned with your values and purpose. Another important point is to have objectives and a plan and to be open to new opportunities and the fact that your career path may not be linear. Enjoy the meandering path. Lastly, learn to recognize when you are experiencing ‘imposter syndrome’ and learn how to effectively manage it." 

Q: What soft skills do you look for when growing your team? 

A: “Developing sustainable solutions often requires creative thinking and a willingness to challenge conventional methods. Along that same thought, the sustainability field is constantly evolving, and professionals need to be able to adapt to new technologies, polices, regulations, etc. So, creativity and adaptability are critical skills to have. And, of course, being able to communicate effectively and collaborate with team members to achieve shared goals are must-have skills. If you are interested in joining the sustainability team, reach out!” 

Learn more about our Engineering Net Zero global program and how we are helping engineer a sustainable society: https://www.engineeringnetzero.com/