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How to Lead Diverse Teams – Sebnem Avsar Tuna

Sebnem Avsar Tuna is the Senior Vice President at Novo Nordisk, a global pharmaceutical company and the world leader in treating diabetes. She is based in Dubai and runs the Asia Pacific region (APAC) – an extremely diverse territory.

On This Episode of When Women Win:

I talked to Sebnem about leading a culturally diverse team – and doing it remotely. Over the past 11 years, she has learnt to flex her leadership style because it is important to her that each employee feels valued and respected. Sebnem emphasized the need to “hold space” for others, especially in meetings… yes, zoom meetings! We also talked about the importance of leading by example, how to handle disappointments that inevitably arise while doing business, and how to shift your work energy towards what really matters. Based on her experience, Sebnem encouraged us to do business with a positive attitude.

Notable Quotes:
  • “Lead by example.”
  • “If you really want to target a higher position, continuously ask for feedback.”
Book Recommendations:

Sebnem recommends reading The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, one of my recent guests. Check out Elif’s episode while you’re at it!

Talking Points in This Episode:
  • How to be decisive
  • Opportunities for growth and learning
  • Managing remotely
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Awareness of your team

You can learn more about Sebnem by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

Please get in touch with me at When Women Win and let me know what you think of this episode or the show in general. You can reach me via InstagramLinkedIn – or the web contact form. Thank you!


Farah Foustok: Invest in Yourself

Why must you invest in yourself?

On the Forbes list of power women every year since I’ve known her is Farah Foustok, the CEO of Lazard Asset Management in the Middle East. She is also the founder of the Middle East’s 30% Club, Reach Mentoring and TARA speed-mentoring – all platforms designed to help women achieve their professional goals.

On This Episode of When Women Win:

Farah & I discussed taking risks, losing it all, cultivating grit and rebuilding from scratch. Farah talked about her move from corporate to a wild 4-year entrepreneurial adventure in Argentina and Spain, and then back into the corporate world. We discussed why it’s important to invest in yourself and what that looks like. Finally, Farah shared how working in the male-dominated world of Middle Eastern finance fueled her passion for mentorship and her desire to help more women rise to leadership positions.

Notable Quotes: 
  • “I learned to lose everything and then find a way to rebuild.”
  • “It’s important to surround yourself with people who have similar values because you don’t always have the answers on your own.”
Book Recommendations:

Farah recommends reading Open: An Autobiography written by professional tennis player Andre Agassi.

Talking Points in This Episode: 
  • Major changes from young life to motherhood
  • Defining failure as an individual and as a society
  • Living in the Arab world
  • How to bounce ideas off others
  • Collaboration and acceptance in team sports

If you’d like to know more about Farah, you can find her at and on LinkedIn.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback, so please do drop me a note or take this 1-minute survey.

Thank you!