Dr. Rihab Saadeddine: Mentors as Mirrors
Growing up in Lebanon, the women in Dr. Saadeddine’s family were primarily focussed on family issues. They were strong women whose voices made a difference in family matters, but rarely looked beyond their roles as wife, mother and grandmother. Their combined voices sent a message that education for women is very important, even though many had not gone beyond high school. They set the stage for Dr. Saadeddine to enter her quest self-discovery.
When Dr. Saadeddine started working and continued her higher education, she saw many women as role models: women in leadership roles; women making a difference. She watched how they spoke, what they did and how they interacted. Every encounter was a learning experience. If you ask her, she would say, “I still do this!” I considered the women around me as mentor-mirrors with characteristics that I could emulate.
Some leaders map their journey into segments of time. Dr. Rihab Saadeddine thinks of her journey as a continual process of self-analysis. Always reflecting upon achievements, she asks herself, “Was it enough? Did I achieve the desired goals? Was the process the most efficient? And, most importantly, “What did I learn from this experience?” She would admit this habit of self-evaluation is both a barrier and a blessing.
Dr. Rihab Saadeddine has some advice for women who are finding their own authentic voice and who are in the exciting journey of self-discovery: Be intentional about growing; Learn from others; work hard and lastly, be an advocate for yourself.