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In the Driver’s Seat with Porsche’s Crystal Khalil
Crystal is the senior manager of Procurement for Porsche Cars North America. She is responsible for Porsche Latin America, Porsche Canada, Porsche Financial Services, Porsche Motor Sports, and Porsche Consulting.
Crystal Khalil on Success: With so much on her plate, she keeps it simple when it comes to defining success: “It is not all about money, and it’s not all about titles. For me, it’s more about being happy, and feeling good about what you’re doing every day.”
On Pushing Past Barriers: “The supply chain industry is typically male-dominated. It’s very difficult for females to excel in that profession. I’ve had to learn to be very professional and earn my way. You have to develop relationships and show and prove yourself. It’s very important that you maintain your reputation and your name.”
“I’m one of the two African-American females in leadership at Porsche. I know that there are a lot of African American young ladies that look at me and are empowered by what I do every day. I know that I have to stay on point, and I have to continue growing.
On Earning Her Seat at the Table: “I had to earn my seat at the table and get thick skin. I had to learn not to take things personally, keep a level head and a business mind and speak to facts and figures.
“I’ve had suppliers call me ‘little lady’ early on in my career. It gave me pause. They felt like they had to explain things to me like I was a 2-year old and couldn’t possibly understand manufacturing or the supply chain. I had to study my industry well. I had to understand what was going on and know my suppliers so could present myself strong. Once they understand who you are, it changes the game.”
On Moving Up as a Mother and Wife: Juggling her career with her personal life has helped Khalil to grow and refine her skills. “There were times in my career where I had to decide what was more important: being home with my kids when they got home from school, or growing my career. There were times where I couldn’t move up because my kids needed me.
“This is an industry where you work long hours, and if you want to move up – especially in a male-dominated industry – you can’t be seen as the one who can’t stay late when everybody else is staying late. You can’t be the one that needs to call out every time your child is sick.
On Being a Woman On-the-RYSE: Though Khalil has already done so much, she’s far from done. “I think that I am always working towards my purpose. I love what I do, and I believe that there is, even more, growth in my industry.
“I would like to break the executive level at Porsche. I’m continually trying to make department best in class and bring that added value to the organization, where people can see that the next level is eminent.
“I think that in my position I have the ability to inspire other women. I’m growing and learning new things every day. I have the capacity to give opportunities to other women on the RYSE and in business.”