Silfanny Bahar (Country Finance Director)

Silfanny has 20 years working experience in various finance role and have worked in multinational companies. “I think woman should not limit themselves in achieving what they aspire to be and we can still do this while managing our family at the same time,” she said.

Let’s find out more about Silfanny through the below interview!

Can you share with us your typical workday?

The whole house wake up at 5.00 AM and start with our routine. I like starting my day with morning exercise (either running or yoga) and then drop my 2nd child to school before coming to office. If I don’t exercise, we usually leave home at 6.20 AM and drop both of my kids at school. When I arrive at the office, I will need to have my cup of coffee before I can brace my laptop and see hundreds of emails in my inbox and my meeting schedules. My day in the office is usually full of meetings, talking to people, reading, replying emails and opening spreadsheet and PowerPoints. My son will normally come to my office – because his school is nearby – at 4.30 PM and do his schoolwork until I finish my work and we leave office around 5.30 PM to pick up my 2nd child from daycare. This morning and evening rides from home to school/daycare and vice versa are my quality time with my kids. I can catch up with them on what is happening in their world and I get to tell them how my day is and if we have any plan for the weekend. If I haven’t finished my work on that day, I would catch up with work after my youngest kid goes to bed. I try my best to hit the bed and rest at 10 or 10.30 PM.

What have been some of your significant successes in Shell? Or what were some of the things that you did, actions taken, kinds of discipline, that helped in your career success?

I graduated with an Accounting degree and have always stayed in a finance career path. I started my career as accounting staff in one of the foreign bank but I learned then it was not quite what I wanted to do in a long term. I wanted to experience all kind of roles within Finance so when there was an opportunity to join Finance Management Program at a multinational company, I jumped at it. It was during that time I knew I wanted a career path in finance and I set a long term goal to reach the top of finance organization. With that target in mind, I know that to get there, I will need to do various roles in finance so I could have a well rounded financial experiences and gained all the required competencies. Whenever I felt that I have gained the competencies and made improvement in the role, I would brave myself to initiate a conversation with my Line Manager that I am ready and open for new opportunity and challenges.

What moves your world?

It’s my family - my husband and also my kids 😊

How do you make time for yourself and how do you see Shell supports you in achieving your work-life balance?

I do not wait for my calendar to be empty to be able to do exercise. I exercise regularly and I make time for that in my calendar. To be able to do my job well and take care of my family, I have to be healthy. Exercise, eating healthy and know when to rest is very important. I find Shell is very supportive and care about work-life balance. I am able to allocate my time to do what is important for me and compensate it with other times as long as my deliverable is met. 

This year’s IWD theme is #eachforequal – what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘equal’?

To me being equal means everybody has the same rights, the same opportunities and also responsibilities.

As a CFO, what have you done to support the woman’s empowerment within your team?

I do not treat woman and men differently in my team; everybody has equal challenges and opportunity. My finance team actually consist of more female than man. I told my female team member to never limit yourself in your career just because you are a working mom with kids and in our team we have each other’s back.

Parting messages or advise, especially to young girls aspiring for development

Never limit yourself just because you are woman and you want to have a family. If you decide to work and have a career, work hard at it and always give your best.



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