Awards 2016: Borouge CFO named Woman of the Year

Reem Al Anbari, the first woman ever to occupy the position of chief financial officer of an ADNOC group company, has been praised for her remarkable career achievements by the Awards jury, which described her as someone who has 'grown through the ranks'

Reem Al Anbari as been described as having become "a role-model to many young female specialists that are looking forward to build their career in that field."
Reem Al Anbari as been described as having become "a role-model to many young female specialists that are looking forward to build their career in that field."

Reem Al Anbari, the first woman ever to occupy the position of chief financial officer (CFO) of an ADNOC group company, has been named the Woman of the Year for 2016 at the Oil & Gas Middle East and Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East Awards in Abu Dhabi on October 5th.

Al Anbari, the CFO of Borouge, has been praised for her remarkable career achievements by the Awards jury, which described her as someone who has “grown through the ranks.”

After receiving the trophy, the emotionally overcome Al Anbari told Oil & Gas Middle East she wasn’t expecting the award and “I feel tears in my eyes right now for I am so happy.”

“I started from scratch, working as an assistant accountant for a company here in Abu Dhabi. The role was challenging, but I gained a lot of experience from this job. Then I moved onto Borouge. Throughout my career I have had different experiences and interacted with various nationalities,” she said.

Three other female professionals, namely: Sudha Nakka Papisetty, HSE compliance and audit advisor at Al Hosn Gas, another ADNOC group company; Nada Al Mesfer, senior petroleum engineer at Kuwait Oil Company and last year’s Woman of the Year; and Alia Al Rifai, the recently appointed chief financial officer – Middle East of Siemens, were in running for this award category, along with Al Anbari.

Al Rifai was highly commended by the judges for being elevated to the crucial role of CFO of a global business conglomerate as Siemens, which to them spoke volumes of her abilities.

However, selection of the winner for the category has proved to be relatively easy for the judging panel.

A jury member described Al Anbari as having become “a role-model to many young female specialists that are looking forward to build their career in that field.”

“It is a great opportunity for me. If they have selected me for the award, it is like a big achievement in my career. And this is a very professional judging panel, so I would consider this award as a big certificate,” the Borouge CFO told the magazine.

On being asked to offer an idea of her role and responsibilities, Al Anbari said: “I am serving two companies – one located here in Abu Dhabi that is mainly into production activities, and the sales & marketing office located in Singapore. We also have different offices in the Asia-Pacific region. I manage 144 employees. It’s a big role and quite challenging as well – managing two CEOs. In the end, as the CFO I have to take care of the company’s finances and help both the CEOs lead the company in the right direction and in a strategic way; to managing the money and also how to be close to the customers.”

In the predominantly male-managed oil and gas industry, Al Anbari has obviously scaled impressive heights, and she is utilising her influential corporate disposition to serve as a role model to other female professionals, especially Emirati women, looking to make a mark in the sector.

“I started this initiative last year to interact with young Emiratis, as well as those from other nationalities, just to give out a message to them. Some people might say only a man can do this job – the managing, the travel. I want to give out a message to the community that I can handle this role, and that a woman can perform any role, regardless of what segment of the business, whether offshore or onshore.”

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