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Pallavi Dean, founder of Dubai-based architecture and interior design studio, Roar, appeared on the Entrepreneur Middle East Live webinar series, Against All Odds, to offer her perspective on what it takes to build a successful career in the sector that she operates in the MENA region.
Against All Odds is an Entrepreneur Middle East Live webinar series that features enterprising women who have risen above personal and professional challenges to develop solutions, launch businesses, and lead global initiatives that make them inspirational role models around the world.
Dean, who founded Roar in 2013, is the recipient of several industry awards, including the Designer of the Year 2021 by Interior Design Magazine in the small corporate office category for Roar’s work with the Early Childhood Authority. She was also included in the 2021 Power List Creative 30 by Design Middle East. But her rise to the top didn’t come easy, she shared on Against All Odds.
“When I first started my career, it was at a big international firm here in the UAE, and it is sad that we don’t talk about these stuff much, but I have to say that racism and sexism were big issues in my career,” Dean revealed. “I am a brown woman in construction. I was never part of the construction boys’ club, and I still am a bit of an outcast, but I celebrate that. So, I have never focused on either my gender or my race, because I was born with it, there’s nothing I can do about it. Honestly, I just honed my craft, and my mantra has always been, ‘Be so good that they cannot ignore you.'”
For more highlights from our conversation with Dean, check out the video!