Malta Business Review Issue 68

Page 14

Malta Business Review

MALTA BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2020

A Business imperative

How Promoting Equality and Diversity Drive Business Success Interview with Deborah Schembri Managing Director & CEO of STM Malta Pension Services Limited MBR: Your friends describe you as a beautiful human being and very successful woman entrepreneur on all levels- do you agree and can you tell us why you have been attributed with these compliments? DS: I am pleased to hear that my friends describe me as such, to which gladly I agree to, Some drivers that make me beautiful and successful are: • passion in what I do • compassion • belief in knowledge and truth • appreciate what life offers • resilient and keeping positive • confidence in what I do • energy When a woman follows her passion, shows compassion, pursues her intellect, keeps a sense of adventure, refuses to give up, and believes herself to be worthy, then her energy will be the spark that lights up everyone and everything around her.

MBR: How do you work on purpose and with ethics to be happy? DS: Being a moral person is essential to living a life of happiness. A person achieves happiness by possessing the dispositions (i.e., tendencies) to make the right choice at the right time in the right way. Ethics can be defined as a set of values that contribute to the betterment of one’s life – i.e., honesty, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and being a person of integrity. Ethics if often thought of as a set of principles to guide one’s actions and behaviors. Application of those principles in our daily life should lead to happiness. MBR: Can you tell us about your open communication with your team in the good times and the tough? DS: It is important to keep positive both in good times and in tough times, and to try to turn challenges to opportunities. One needs to:

Show leadership: Leadership is about communication and therefore it is vital to be candid with employees about what is known, as well as what is uncertain. Build on strengths: Emphasize the values of employees that have enabled the organization to achieve its current position. Be visible: As the organization’s leader I make a point of ‘showing the flag’ – of making the effort to circulate around offices and work areas. Communicate information early: One needs to ensure you are open about organizational performance results. Use the management team: Use the management team to cascade core messages about the organization’s strategy. MBR: You have recently won the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award what are your feelings and what is your feedback following your participation in these awards? DS: I am honoured to win this award. This is the second edition of these awards. In the first edition I placed runner up and in the second edition I am a winner, so very much pleased. The “Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards” are designed to help promote and recognise women who have achieved significant success in business, serving as an inspiration and encouragement for other women. There is still a lot of work to be done for women to be somewhere near to the number of male individuals in leading and managing businesses. My hope is that as the winner- with the support of the judges, sponsors and other interested parties - I will be promoting women in business with a view of seeing more women appointed in leading positions. MBR

Deborah Schembri BA(Hons) Accty., Dip. Tax., FIA, CPA, APMI, MiOD MIM, MBA (Henley) Deborah has over twenty years experience in the insurance & pensions, gaming, caring, construction & property development, oil & fuel and hospitality industries. In her various C-Level and Board Member roles she had formulated new strategic directions and implemented the necessary changes, covering both local and international companies. Over the past seven years as the CEO & Managing Director of STM Malta she has been instrumental in setting up and not only growing the Company, but also placing STM Malta as the major pensions provider. She is a Certified Public Accountant, holds a Masters in Business Administration from Henley Management College and she holds an Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision pursued with the UK Pensions Management Institute. She is a Fellow Member of the Malta Institute of Accountants, Fellow Member of the Malta Institute of Taxation, and Member of Malta Institute of Management, Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, Institute of Directors UK and Associate Member of the Pension Management Institute UK. Deborah is the Chairperson of the Malta Association of Retirement Scheme Administrators. She sits on various committees within the Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners. Deborah won the Malta’s Best Knowledge Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2015 and also the Runner Up of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2018. Deborah has also been nominated and then voted as one of the finalists for the Commonwealth Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. She won the Most Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, Malta – Wealth & Finance INTL’s 2015 Finance Awards. Also she is the winner of the Corporate Vision’s Corporate Excellence Awards as the Most Influential Businesswoman in Finance 2019 in Malta. She has also won the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2020. 14