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Zahra Bahrololoumi Women in leadership Masterclass

02 July 2018

Zahra Bahrololoumi gave the fifth masterclass in our Women in Leadership Series, that sees ouststanding women leaders share their experiences with the next generation of female leaders to inspire, motivate and mentor.

Zahra spoke about her Iranian family who valued education and her liberal upbringing in England, both of which made her too British and too Iranian to get her dream job as a diplomat. She joined Anderson Consulting in the 1990s and worked in technology which was a challenge because her background was neither technical or engineering but she credits her career success in part to running towards problems and jobs that others didn't want to deal with. She spoke about the importance of mindset and grit especially when you are told 'no'. Sometimes to be successful you have to create your own agenda which is risky but if it works very liberating. You need clarity so identify the most impactful need in a situation and don't be put off by technical terms, ask the person sprouting them to explain them. Engage with people and lift others as you rise by spotting talents in people that they might not even be aware of and help them to cultivate them. Again the value of mentors came up with Zahra feeling that the strongest mentorship relationships are where the success of both parties are linked.

I liked the small group setting and that we got an opportunity to ask questions directly to the speaker but it also allowed the group to share their experiences. Zahra's presentation was excellent and interesting with the use of colourful slides.

Speaker Biography

Zahra Bahrololoumi is a senior managing director and lead of Accenture Technology for the UK and Ireland which provides Application & Platform services to clients across all industry groups. She is responsible for developing the technology that powers innovation and transformation for Accenture's clients. With a focus on artificial intelligence, cloud computing and platforms underpinning new applications, Zahra is passionate about technology's potential to change peoples' lives for the better.

Prior to this role, Zahra led Accenture's global Fuels Retail practice and the Technology Consulting practice for Resources across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EALA). The majority of Zahra's career has been in business and IT transformation projects in grocery retail, oil and gas, banking, healthcare and telecoms. She has pioneered a number of "firsts" in the oil and gas industry, including patent-pending uses of cloud computing technology for energy industry divestments. She also created and led the Global Resources Blockchain Council, where she advises utility, chemical and energy companies on how to generate value from Blockchain technology.

As Fuels Retail lead, she was an active speaker in industry and co-author of recent articles including "Charging Ahead: Reimaging the forecourt of the future," which examines how emerging technology developments might improve Fuels Retail by 2030.

Zahra is Accenture Technology's Inclusion & Diversity Lead for EALA and was previously the Human Capital & Diversity lead for UK&I. She has an active voice in the market on the topic of diversity and has written for and commented in leading publications, including Management Today, Forbes, The Telegraph and the Evening Standard. Zahra is on the board of advisors for Mind Matters—an initiative focused on mental health for young people.

Zahra is a member of the Accenture UK & Ireland executive leadership team and was recently appointed as a director on the Accenture UK board of directors.

Zahra is a vice chair of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince's Trust working with leaders from across the Technology Industry in the UK to engage the Technology Industry in raising money and helping the Prince's Trust to support disadvantaged Young People in the UK to get into employment. In 2016, Zahra was named a "Women in IT," "Woman of the year" finalist and was previously named by Management Today to their "35 Women Under 35" list. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in management science from Brunel University.

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