International Women’s Day

By March 8, 20202019, Articles

This International Women’s Day we take the opportunity to celebrate some of the amazing women in GAJ.

We asked them about their mentors and the importance of supporting each other. Here’s what they had to say.

Neha Pradhan, Architect

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

The self-absorbed, self-interested, and self-obsessed modern day society we live in is full of negativity and constant criticism of others. If we wish to really distinguish ourselves in this world, we must become people-oriented and start encouraging others. One of the best ways to empower women is to empower yourself. I believe in leading by example. I try to be what I would want women around me to be and show others that I am what I value.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

It’s beautiful and exciting to be yourself. The essence of life lies in being genuine, courageous, independent and upfront but at the same time being kind towards others. Don’t settle for less than you deserve from anyone at work or at home.

Who was your role model as you were starting your career and why?

My father has been my role model. A person so beautiful inside out, he inspired me to be an architect. While he had a successful career in banking he still nurtured a desire for his children to pursue a career in architecture. He always encouraged me in whatever I did and helped channel his young daughter’s energy and thoughts into creative arts without ever pressurising me with his own dreams. He has, to date, stood by me with the best of advice and suggestions and I always turn to him for any career decisions.

Reham Yehia Hussien, Associate

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

Women in the workplace were for a long time diminished by those in power. They were told and treated as if they were less capable and inherently less able to lead. I believe that female leaders or workers bring different perspectives from unique experiences they have lived and this diversity of perspectives, employed to better represent everyone, ultimately strengthens the community as a whole.

We should take it upon ourselves to represent what female leadership should look like. In meetings where there are men in the room, collaborate with them, advocate for equal treatment, showcase respect for differing viewpoints, and fight for the things you believe in.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Your career life and your personal life rarely follow a linear direction, or even the path that you drew for yourself.  I have faced many unexpected changes in my life. Some of these have been great, but some of them have been awful and challenging. I think if you manage your expectations as well as having a Plan B in mind that is the best way to keep growing and moving forward, even during those times when you feel like you’re going backwards. Also do take criticism seriously, but not personally. There is a truth in the criticism, always try to learn from it.

Who was your role model as you were starting your career and why?

My mother is my role model. She inspired me to never give up, made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to and always made me see that I should always do my best not less than the best. She never believed in the words “it’s impossible” or “I can’t”. As a result, I am more assertive, competitive and eager to learn and achieve as much as I can in life. I say yes to opportunities and always try to make an attempt at something rather that shying away and saying I cannot do it.