The working Sri Lankan woman is a quintessential part of our society in this day and age. As important as women are to the workforce they experience a unique set of challenges that shape the journey they have to take. That being said our workforce is led by some amazing women giving their own unique spin to the expectations and definitions of society. So what makes a 'Boss Babe'? This Women's Day we're going to sit down and have a chat with two of the leading personalities at One Envoy Group who just so happened to be women. Sumaiyah Suhaib and Nishara Sayer Preena know what it is to be proactive and successful in the workforce.
Sumaiyah: When I first started, things were not that clear to me. However I had an amazing support network in the industry and I was lucky enough to be able to balance all aspects of my life along with my work. The people I surrounded myself with and their corporation made me who I am today.
Nishara: For me it has been a whirlwind! I started my career as an automotive engineer but over the last decades I've worked in five different industries and I was fortunate to experience working in quite a few different countries. It was by no means a cakewalk but those challenges helped me learn a lot.
Sumaiyah: Two words. Human. Connections. As someone in recruitment establishing long-lasting relationships is a big part of my job and it's something I enjoy immensely. Being able to assist someone to get a job that helps them has always been a great feeling at the end of any day
Nishara: I love making things happen. Planning, strategizing and executing. Something about my current role specifically is the fact that I have a voice. My boss actually listens to me and having a superior that respects your input can be one of the most fulfilling experiences at work. It's truly humbling to be appreciated and heard.
Sumaiyah: When I started off most women around me were quite shy and never really stepped up to leadership positions. Over the years this has changed and women are much more enthusiastic and aggressive when it comes to seizing opportunities.
Nishara: It has changed a lot over the past few decades. There are a lot of companies that are really pushing women empowerment but it's still a work in progress. I have a huge amount of respect for companies that are doing this because after literal centuries of having certain ideals it takes a lot of work to change the system.
Nishara: I think it's one of the most crucial things for a woman's success! Without the right support system I don't know where I'd end up. Being a mom with two sons, the support I get from my husband and our parents is what gives me the peace of mind and motivation to go all out at work and do the best I can.
Sumaiyah: Heritage and culture is a big deal for us Sri Lankans and this has both positives and negatives. For one there are a lot of stereotypes that surround working women but I'm starting to see a change in this. On the other hand the sense of responsibility and awareness to our surroundings that we get from our culture helps us make better decisions.
Sumaiyah: It needs a lot of planning. That being said, there are times when no matter how much you plan things just don't go that way so it's important to also be open to going with the flow. I believe living life fully impacts our work life too so balancing both is crucial to the success of both. I'm married and have two sons so it's important for me to nurture myself and my family in order to stay sane and be successful.
Nishara: It's one big juggling act. Life as a working parent is all about designing that perfect cycle that somehow balances both home and work.
I try to give 100% of everything I do because everyone in my life deserves the best of me. Being present at home and to my family is very important to me so I try to not bring work home as much as I can.
Sumaiyah: Be organized, plan well and be confident. I believe that these are the pillars that have helped my career and everyone can gain something from focusing on these.
Sumaiyah: It's important to see women as your equals and respect their decisions. It's simple to do but it can make a huge impact.
It's nice to acknowledge the awesomeness of our womenfolk on a special day but toppling the system we're so used to and understanding the true potential of equality takes time. It's a long journey but the steps are small and we can all start walking.
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