Why We Boldly Go: No Mountain is Too High
March 24, 2022
Nora Bafrouri is successful in her career, as a mother and as a leader of an employee resource group, breaking barriers and uplifting women to thrive at work and home.
3 min read
At Trane Technologies, employees are given support, flexibility, and opportunities to be themselves, in every way. They are passionate, pioneering people, who challenge the status quo, uplift others, and thrive at work and home.
Brave is the best way to describe employee Nora Bafrouri, who showed up for her interview at Trane Technologies’ Belgium office when she was nine months pregnant. Where others may have felt uneasy interviewing so late in their pregnancy,’ Nora felt empowered to go for what she wanted and join the company. She heard that the company offered an inclusive culture, international exposure, and professional opportunities, so in her third trimester, she applied for a role as senior manager of Indirect Tax for EMEA. She knew she could handle the responsibilities of the job and motherhood. The hiring manager did too.
He hired her.
Nora was determined to add value to the Tax department, and she did. She transformed and digitalized the Indirect Tax function to become more robust, efficient, and effective, partnering with different business functions in each region. But it wasn’t an easy feat.
“I traveled a lot during my first two years to be more effective at my job. I didn’t have to do this—my manager didn’t expect me to, and many asked me why I was traveling and working so hard when I had a little one at home. But my daughter was (and is) the reason I work hard and challenge myself. I’m her role model. I want to show her the power of self-motivation and commitment. I want her to know she can do whatever she sets her mind to do if she goes for it.”
Being a new mother didn’t limit her--it was a source of motivation. And two years later, she was promoted to assistant tax director of Indirect Tax.
Some mothers feel like they can’t be good mothers and have a career. Not Nora.
“Society can be very judgmental toward working moms. There's this idea that a perfect mom cooks every meal and is always there to greet the kids after school. The value working mothers bring to our kids doesn't get acknowledged. So, you feel guilty all the time. You feel like you need to choose between your career and family. But I don’t think women should have to make a choice. We can have families and good careers,” explained Nora.
“But moms need support systems, which includes working for flexible organizations with inclusive cultures,” continued Nora. “I found that at Trane Technologies. Leadership is open-minded, providing opportunities for all, support, and flexibility.”
And Nora is continuing to deliver results.
Don’t let your insecurities hold you back. With determination—you can achieve anything--there is no mountain too high. Keep pursuing your goals – whatever they are – and commit to them without settling for anything less. You can have a career and be a leader and good mom.
She’s been with the company for five years now, and she continues to go for what she wants. In the last year, between working and caring for a five-year-old and 18-month-old in lockdown during the pandemic, she’s continued investing in her learning and development, completing courses from Harvard Business School to earn her certification in three areas of finance. She’s chair of the EMEA region Women Employee Network (WEN) and active in many volunteer initiatives.
Through WEN, she's helped implement mentoring programs, learning and development opportunities, and networking events to connect employees with leaders. Her passion is advocacy to uplift others and particularly women's empowerment.
“Uplifting other women is so powerful and rewarding. When my journey and actions influence others, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I wish I could become an ambassador for unrepresented minorities and young women--empowering them to be fearless and pursue their dreams,” added Nora.
Nora is proof that mothers can do it all. And her advice:
“Don’t let your insecurities hold you back. With determination—you can achieve anything--there is no mountain too high. Keep pursuing your goals – whatever they are – and commit to them without settling for anything less. You can have a career and be a leader and good mom.”
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