The WFE's Women Leaders 2021 - Dr Rasha Dayyat, Director of Planning and Institutional Development, Amman Stock Exchange

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2021

Nominee’s name: Dr Rasha Dayyat

Member: Amman Stock Exchange

Nominee’s job title: Director of Planning and Institutional Development


1. - Brief description of nominee’s role/job:

My job includes the following:

• Supervising and directing employees to accomplish all the work and tasks required by the Planning and Institutional Development Department.

• Seeking to develop the department's business.

• Supervising the preparation of the annual report of the stock exchange and the statistical reports issued by the department and reviewing them.

• Supervising the preparation and drafting of the ASE’s strategic plan and the annual operational plans stemming from it.

• Supervising the preparation of the policy, plan & manual for the risk management that the Stock Exchange may be exposed to and take action if necessary.

• Supervising the work quality assessment processes in the stock exchange.

• Follow up on local and international economic reports and news.

• Deepening the relationship of the stock exchange with external parties such as the Federation of Arab and International Stock Exchanges by representing the Stock Exchange in the committees stemming from these federations.

2. - Short bio (career highlights, education, and interests/hobbies):

I have PhD in finance from Coventry University, UK, masters and Bachelors in Economics from Mu’tah University, Jordan. At that time, I was considered the youngest lady in Jordan to get a PhD, and it was published in the newspaper. I was an Assistant Professor in Finance specialising in monetary policy and capital markets. More than 10 years of professional experience including as an Advisor to IMF Executive Director to the Middle East region, in which I analysed the country and policy papers produced by the staff for the board, read and reviewed working and research papers prepared by IMF staff, and prepared the monthly report for the Middle East region.

I was a vice-dean at faculty for Business administration, and a head of Accounting department in Princess Sumaya University and Mu’tah University in which I undertook a variety of tasks such as discussing all department members’ issues including the schedule and courses, and students’ issues, representing the department in different committees in the faculty, and participating in different regional economic and finance conferences and seminars. I have been an economic consultant at the Delegation of the European Union in which I drafted the public financial management report/an internal report for the EU. I was a programme director at Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization in which I contacted international universities and organisations to prepare different online courses and programmes with Talal abu Ghazaleh University, and was a coordinator of the Economic Policies Development Forum in which I prepared various economic reports and analysed reports. I have been a member of the IMF Winter Internship Programme in the Middle East and Central Asia Department in which I wrote a report titled “Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the Caucasus” using econometric analysis.

Regarding my professional and voluntary activities; I supervised accounting students and been the winner of CFA Research Institute Challenge among Jordanian universities for two years, have been a board member in the IRB committee supervised by USAID at Princess Sumaya University, represented the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the Youth Development and Peace Conference organized by the World Bank in Paris, have been a member of the Executive Committee for Excellence and Innovation for the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and Involved in training and career counselling of the fund members.

As a person working in the advancing, fast-moving online industry, I always try to take the time to slow down and get lost in a book. There is so much out there distracting us between entertainment, media, and social networks. However, I find that reading is one of my favourite hobbies. There are days where I wish I could find a whole day just to finish some books. It amazes me how many books there are in the world, and I find it sad that I’ll never be able to read them all. And when I read, I give myself fully to the book. Whether it’s a story, biography, or informative piece, I still allow it to take me elsewhere. I put myself in a frame of mind where I am involved with the processes being described.

3. - What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2020?:

In light of the developments resulting from the repercussions of the spread of coronavirus and as a precautionary measure to confront these repercussions and the situation of uncertainty that prevailed in the market and affected investors and to mitigate its effects, Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) took action to prevent physical presence inside the ASE building. This, and the decision to suspend trading at ASE during the period (17/3/2020-9/5/2020) were followed by the shutdown of public and private institutions. However, ASE employees worked from home. And it was my opportunity to prove myself and develop my achievements from the concept and a quote by John Kennedy: “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognise the opportunity.” Therefore, I recognised that it was my opportunity.

Covid-19 is a typical example of a shock that is hard to handle separately. It is a challenge for all of us to coordinate together; therefore, I communicated and cooperated with all my colleagues in the department. Through our teamwork, we successfully finished the ASE 2019 annual report, communicated with different departments to provide us all the ideas and projects they are planning to do in order to prepare the new ASE strategic plan (2021-2023). I responded to all correspondents that we received from different organisations and institutions; worked hard to finish the risk management policy and it’s been approved by the ASE Board of Directors; prepared the economic report that is published monthly with the ASE report: discussed important issues with the executive management related to the stock exchange such as collaborating with international and regional organisations and institutions in different areas, which will have a good impact on investment in ASE; and checked what actions have other exchanges taken during the pandemic, and what their achievements were.

4. - What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success:

I find my motivation and inspiration in different steps of my life. When I turn to my professional associations and their resources, or when I attend educational sessions, I’m inspired. Passion is contagious, from interaction with my peers and mentors, to volunteering and even communicating with thought leaders. Just as an example, I thought about my work recently, and I came up with three main points of inspiration, they are: reading, integrity and professionalism, and one of the most important points that I found is turning crisis into an opportunity.

5. - What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions:

I have some key pieces of advice for young women who aspire to be in leadership positions:

- No matter how difficult the road gets, you should never give up.

- Have a clear set of values, goals to reach, and changes you wish to make.

- Do not follow people but instead follow your dreams and believe in the positive changes you want to make.

- Be well-organised, self-confident and motivated.

- Implement time management.

- Be yourself.