Eman Al-Hillawi, CEO

What’s the best thing about your role?

My role is so varied that it’s difficult to pin down just one best thing. However, one of the things I have enjoyed most is the opportunity that comes with being CEO. Having an overarching view of the business but still being integrated as part of the team means I can make changes that benefit our people the most.

I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I can have an influence over business strategy and direction. By listening to everyone, not just the leadership team, we’ve been able to build a culture based on trust and flexibility.

What are the three most important skills for a CEO?

Communication, resilience and positivity.

What makes Entec Si a great place to work?

People are at the heart of everything we do, which is why the culture we have created at Entec Si is one of the things that I’m most proud of. Even through the pandemic, we used this time to change and adapt our ways of working to suit our people. We now offer true flexible working, meaning our people can take the time to be present in the important parts of the day. Whether this be the school run in the evening, walking the dog or simply going for a run like I do, we encourage everyone work in a way that works for them and fits with client needs.

What is your biggest career highlight whilst at Entec Si?

Becoming a CEO is of course one of my personal biggest career highlights. Having started my career as a research scientist, making such a huge career change into consultancy was a scary thing to do. By working hard and throwing myself into my role, I have helped to mould and refocus the business to successfully deliver end-to-end change projects and create a team of trusted advisors for our clients.

What is the most important life lesson you have learnt during your career?

There are so many lessons I have learned. I guess the most important one is leadership. I think there’s a skill to being a good leader and it takes time to get it right. It can be difficult, especially as you work with lots of different people who each work in their own way. Being a good leader means understanding this and understanding your employees.

Aside from this, a skill I learnt very early on in my career is planning. As they say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. This is something I try to resonate throughout the team as part of my leadership to ensure we are a team of top change consultants.

What is your most exciting hobby?

I think my most exciting hobby is that I have a private pilot licence. It’s one of the things I love telling people as its always something they never expect to hear.

For me, being up in the clouds allows me to switch off from work mode, which can be difficult to do. When I turn my focus to flying a plane, I can appreciate the natural beauty of the world from an angle that not many people experience. When I was a child, I always wanted to be an astronaut! I guess that at least I’ve taken a step in the right direction with my flying! I also love to paint with water colours.

A surprising fact about you:

Maybe that I have a PhD in Biochemistry. I like to think of myself as quite a surprising person, but I think starting out in a career that is very different to where I am now is surprising to some. When you compare a scientist to a change consultant there are plenty of overarching skills that complement both jobs: organisation, research and project management which have all helped me to become the change consultant I am today.