Suzan S.Hammoudeh Phc. FCIPS ExDip Chartered
Pharmacy Administrative Affairs Head
King Hussein Cancer Center - Jordan
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced as a woman in business to date?
Balancing between three pillars: family, career and continuous education, these three are all very important parts of a person, and I believe that we need to seek specialised training and continuous learning, share knowledge in order to advance in our career.It is very important to spend quality time with one’s children, and it is about the quality not quantity, being able to engage the children in my work, have them understand why I do what I do and the importance of having a personal “ Purpose to Impact” has been my challenge not only so that I can achieve my goals but also for them to grow as responsible individuals who value women’s roles and can develop their own personal purpose to impact.
Who has inspired you (male or female)?
In my career I am blessed to have inspirational mentors, and “If I am able to see a little bit further, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants”
I am a true believer in “The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance it the illusion of knowledge” so I believe in the power of education and sharing knowledge to build up societies and bring them closer; empower people and sustain a culture that supports equity and inclusion.
I have always been impressed with two ladies whose careers and personal mission to impact are truly inspirational because they invested in helping others grow:
Dr. Lama H Nazer, PharmD, BCPS Critical Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist. With over 50 publications and close to 100 abstracts and presentations at regional and international conferences. She has been involved with teaching (formally and informally) from day 1 of her work. She was first involved with teaching and precepting students and then a few years later, was also involved with mentoring junior pharmacists, some of whom work with me while others whom I have not met in person! It is very rewarding to see people grow and succeed.
She is a strong believer in sharing knowledge and helping others grow. It is a professional commitment. To quote her “The reason we are able to grow is because we had great mentors that helped us along our journey, so whatever I do at this stage of my career is the "duty to pay-back"”.
Another inspirational leader is Ms. Haifa al Najjar, she is the superintendent of prominent schools in Jordan, she is an advocate for empowering our young generation through education, she promotes a culture of inclusive education where equity is a shared culture, ensuring an accessible school for children with special needs. She has earned national and international recognitions for her achievements.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out and/ or what advice would you give your younger self?
“The best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” and I am blessed to be working at “work worth doing” but we must learn to take time out every now and then to totally unplug from it all, take more “ME” time. Life is a journey and I think what we have learned this tough last year is to appreciate real moments in life, take time to enjoy small things when being busy, we may overlook.
What are the character traits of successful women and/or what makes a good leader?
Being able to communicate effectively and honestly, listen actively, engage people and invest in building capacity and in building a culture that supports a “Learning Organization” a Person Centered Care, so that both employees and customers are at the center of each process.
Building the culture is essential because “Culture eats strategy for breakfast and innovation for lunch.” A person-centered care allows agility and flexibility, essential to organization survival in such a dynamic environment.
Do you have a favourite quote or statement that sums up your approach to life?
A quote my dad used to say “Hope for the best, but expect the worst “we need to be optimistic, but we have to do risk management, in life and at work, we should take calculated risks, and be prepared for the “what if’s”. Data has become precious, we need to have good data, good tools to collect and analyse it then we must apply this knowledge and use it to identify trends, risks or opportunities, and then take action, to ensure sustainable continuous improvement.
The ‘black swans’ events may not be as rare as we think they are, and the impact is substantial even if we think of an occurrence as “rare”.
What do you #ChooseToChallenge?
I believe that burnout happens to people who were lit in the first place, who are committed and work hard to succeed, but who suffer chronic stress in the workplace.
Ensuring wellness to everyone, through for example having an accessible work environment for employees who are physically challenged or having day-care options for parents. Listening actively to people we work with allows a ‘Just Culture’ for them to speak out and voice their concerns, this is important to sustain resilience and inner personal happiness, and therefore be able serve patients or clients, work and advance in one’s career, and be there for your family and friends as well.
Burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that reduces professional ability and may limit opportunities to advance in a working place, wellness is overlooked and I #ChooseToChallenge inequity in the workplace by ensuring inclusiveness to everyone by addressing burnout, emotional wellness and sustaining a ‘Just Culture’ for everyone to voice concerns.