Fida Kibbi: Leading the Way in a Transformative World

Fida Kibbi, the Vice President, Head of Marketing, Communications Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility (SCR) for Ericsson in the Middle East & Africa, is a trailblazer in the world of telecommunications. With a passion for driving change and a steadfast commitment to innovation, Fida has spent 16 years shaping the marketing, communication, and sustainability landscape of Ericsson, a company that stands at the forefront of global connectivity. Her journey is not just a testament to her personal growth but also a reflection of the evolving ICT industry.

Professional Journey:

Fida’s remarkable journey at Ericsson began with her role as the Head of Internal Communication, where she pioneered successful change programs, becoming an expert in change management. Over the years, she expanded her responsibilities, leading marketing plans to success and establishing the foundation for digital marketing transformation in the region. Her strategic acumen led her to roles in external communication, public and media relations, and eventually, the Vice President and Head of Communications for the Middle East & Africa. Fida’s expertise extends to building communication strategies that drive the company’s transformation, including crisis communication, communicative leadership, and employee and media relations.

Ericsson: Empowering Limitless Connectivity:

Ericsson, a global leader in telecommunications, has been driving innovation since 1876. With over 100,000 employees worldwide, Ericsson pioneers solutions that improve lives, redefine businesses, and contribute to a sustainable future. The company’s focus on 5G technology and its commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions exemplify Ericsson’s dedication to shaping a connected and environmentally responsible world.

Fida’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. The rapidly evolving ICT industry, marked by technological advancements and changing customer expectations, posed unique hurdles. However, Fida’s approach of embracing constant learning, data-driven decision-making, and agility empowered her to navigate these challenges. By fostering collaboration, upholding integrity, and staying adaptable, she not only overcame obstacles but also turned them into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Fida recognizes the progress made in promoting women’s empowerment in leadership positions. At Ericsson, she actively contributes to the company’s goal of achieving a 30% representation of women among all employees and line managers by 2030. While progress has been made, Fida advocates for accelerating efforts and finding more efficient ways to empower women in the workplace.

Addressing Gender Disparities:

In the tech industry, bridging the gender gap requires concerted efforts. Fida recognizes the challenges that still persist despite the progress made in creating a more inclusive environment. According to data from the World Economic Forum, women remain underrepresented in STEM fields, with significant disparities in research publications and salaries. To counter this, companies like Ericsson actively engage in initiatives like International Girls in ICT Day. By providing accessible learning materials and participating in talks and events, they inspire young girls, dispel stereotypes, and encourage them to consider ICT as a viable career path.

Studies consistently underline the positive impact of women in leadership roles. Diverse perspectives foster innovation and enhance organizational performance. Women bring unique qualities to the boardroom, promoting inclusivity, creativity, and unbiased decision-making. Their ability to challenge assumptions and prejudices creates a culture of learning and acceptance, crucial for sustained growth and progress.

Fida’s journey is also marked by the influence of role models. Hilda Ericsson, a pioneer in the early years of Ericsson, serves as a testament to the significant contributions of women in the company’s history. Fida emphasizes the importance of mentorship and sponsorship, underscoring the critical role they play in propelling women towards leadership positions. Creating a supportive network of mentors and sponsors is vital for career advancement, providing avenues for challenging assignments and opportunities in the C-suite.

Organizational Initiatives for Women’s Advancement:

At Ericsson, empowering women is more than a goal; it’s a commitment reflected in tangible initiatives. The Women of Ericsson Employee Resource Group (ERG) provides a platform for women to share experiences, offer mentorship, and uplift each other. Programs like ALTitude serve as accelerators, propelling women into senior positions. Inclusive Leadership training and the focus on pay equity signify Ericsson’s dedication to fostering a fair and unbiased workplace.

Diversity in Decision-Making:

Fida emphasizes the essential nature of diversity in boardroom discussions. Diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are the bedrock of informed decision-making. Organizations, in their pursuit of a brighter and more sustainable future, must acknowledge the significance of varied genders, ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds at the board level. These diverse voices bring richness to discussions, ensuring a well-rounded approach to problem-solving and strategy development.

Creating an inclusive boardroom isn’t just about token representation; it’s about amplifying diverse voices. Organizations need to treat gender balance seriously and actively incorporate diverse perspectives into decision-making processes. Proactive steps, such as training and support, are vital. The most diverse boards often have female CEOs or chairpersons, indicating the transformative influence of female leadership at the highest level.

Despite progress, systemic barriers persist. Addressing these challenges involves clear strategies for hiring, promoting, and evaluating women. It requires evaluating decisions by diverse groups to ensure fairness. It also involves dispelling stereotypes that limit women’s career growth. Women can successfully balance family and work, bringing unique strengths to the boardroom. Recognizing and embracing these diverse perspectives is not just beneficial; it’s imperative for organizational growth.

The Future of Women’s Leadership:

Looking ahead, Fida envisions a landscape where diverse perspectives drive innovation and business success. More organizations are recognizing the transformative potential of women in leadership. With a growing number of women in top executive positions, industries are witnessing fresh developments, particularly in technology and medicine. Women are not just breaking barriers; they are reshaping industries, inspiring future generations, and fostering an atmosphere of empowerment.

Advice for Aspiring Women Leaders:

To young women aspiring for leadership roles, Fida offers timeless advice: trust yourself, remain focused on your goals, and surround yourself with a supportive network. Passion and genuine excitement for what you do are catalysts for excellence. Enjoy the journey, find joy in your work, and believe in your capabilities. Determination, perseverance, and focus have been Fida’s guiding principles, proving that these qualities know no gender boundaries.

Fida shares a poignant success story from the LEAP event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The panel of Saudi female executives showcased visionary leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Their transformative efforts not only shattered glass ceilings but also revitalized company cultures, fostering innovation, employee engagement, and profitability. This inspiring narrative reaffirms the indispensable impact of women’s leadership in reshaping corporate landscapes.

Fida underscores the importance of solidarity among women. Companies that foster supportive environments enable women to rise through the ranks, creating a domino effect of empowerment. Fida’s commitment to empowering her female colleagues, especially the young talents, reflects her aspiration to be a role model. Every step taken, every milestone achieved, strengthens her belief in the enduring journey of women’s empowerment. With voices like Fida’s leading the way, the future of women in boardrooms shines brighter, promising a world where diverse perspectives lead to unparalleled innovation, progress, and equality.

In conclusion, Fida Kibbi emerges as a paragon of resilience and innovation, exemplifying the transformative power of women in leadership. Her unwavering commitment to positive change has not only propelled her personal journey to success but has also become a guiding light for aspiring women leaders in the tech industry and beyond. Fida’s story is more than just a narrative of individual achievement; it is a testament to the boundless potential of women in shaping the future. Through her experiences at Ericsson and her dedication to fostering inclusivity and diversity, Fida stands as a beacon of inspiration. Her remarkable trajectory serves as a powerful reminder that a diverse, inclusive workforce isn’t merely a goal but a driving force behind innovation, progress, and triumph in the ever-evolving landscape of the tech industry. With Fida leading the way, the horizon of possibilities for women in leadership shines brighter, illuminating the path for generations of future trailblazers.