This feature is part of a series highlighting some of the most prominent Jordanian businesswomen who managed to climb to the top of the corporate ladder in their respective fields in the Kingdom.
CEO of the Hub
Ruba Batayneh is widely considered to be a trailblazer of Jordan’s advertising sector. She established AGA Profess Graphics CEO in 1991 with just two employees at a time when advertising was still low down on the priorities of most of the companies in the Kingdom. “The perception about advertising was not right and most companies used to consider it as an expense rather than an investment,” she said.
Profess Graphics was recently rebranded as The Hub and moved along with its 32 employees into smart new offices at Abdali Boulevard. The company now focuses on four areas: advertising services, media planning and buying, online advertising, and public relations.
Batayneh, who has a PhD in advertising and marketing from Oxford University and 25 years of experience in the advertising industry, lives by a simple motto she learned from her mother. “Do what you have to do now. You cannot imagine the effectiveness of this lesson in everyone’s life. This lesson was, and will always be, my method for achieving my goals,” she stressed.
She insists that her management style is shaped by simplicity, taking others’ advice into account, and knowing the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts of the industry. She can also quickly adapt to whatever is thrown in her way, which is particularly helpful in the advertising business.
“The other side of the story is different. I am not at all tolerant with whoever makes a mistake,” said Batayneh. “Punctuality is another feature in me. All members of my team know this and they do their jobs accordingly.”
Batayneh is frustrated the workplace is still considered off limits for women in conservative Eastern, Arab, and Muslim societies. “Being a successful woman is even worse and even rejected in our man-dominated society. This was a challenge for me and at the same time it has become a target that needs to be changed,” she said, adding that although there is a good percentage of women in the workplace now, concern about breaking social norms, along with a fear of failure, are largely responsible for the scarcity of successful women in Jordan’s corporate world.
Of her success, Batayneh takes pride in two particular achievements that she has managed to accomplish in her life: her son and the leading position that her company has reached despite of the difficult conditions in the local and regional markets.
But it has been her passion for her work and confidence that kept her going, a lesson she feels most women will learn from. “You are lucky when your profession is your passion. I love what I do in the advertising industry and I do it willingly,” she said. “Simply put, I say to every working woman: Have confidence in yourself. Once you have the confidence you will have the catalyst to move.”
Articles in the series of Jordan’s Top Businesswomen: