MEA Women in Business Awards 2017

14 MEA MARKETS / Women in Business Awards 2017 , Al Rayanmanages many international and local schools in Kuwait and offers holistic education throughwide range of curriculums. We spoke to Ayesha Shaikh, HR and Operations Manager, in order to discuss more about the company and her own recent success. Education HR Manager of the Year – Kuwait Al Rayan’s clients are the student population and their parents, who are very involved in what their child is doing at the school. Ayesha tells us about her role within the firm, working under CEO Mohammad Al Shuaibi and how long she has been there as well as discussing her previous roles. “At Al Rayan, I work as a Human Resource and Operations manager, overseeing all the recruitment needs of the company and its schools along with legal matters pertaining to human resources, grievance management, purchasing and maintenance. My role encompasses liaising with school principals and other department heads to manage the operational and human resource needs of the schools. Due to my line of work I am required to manage international recruitment. I also get advice from the higher management on their vision for the organisation and adjust accordingly. Regarding her own career, Ayesha outlines her goals and how she ambitious plans to reach them. “To feel happier and more positive during my workday by organizing my daily work and to create a more positive work culture is on my list. My goal is to get the right work/ family balance as I believe this is very important to women and most of the women are not able to maintain this and are eventually pressurised to quit their careers. I love doing my work and with all the support at home and at work I plan to continue making improvements in the organisation while having a positive impact on the people. Being a woman, it can sometimes be challenging working in the corporate environment. Ayesha discusses the challenges she has encountered in the industry and how she has managed to overcome them. Part of the newer generation are realising that women do not solely have to prioritise their families but can hold a career as well as performing all family responsible to a quality standard. “My work requires undivided attention and my presence at times, in various departments and schools is unavoidable. This means contributing extra hours, working from home and being available at all possible hours. Although, technology has helped a great deal, it is still challenging to maintain a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities, specially having 2 young children. Having said that, I am fortunate to have right support at work and as well as at home which helps me manage my work and family responsibilities efficiently. “Generally, woman in the Middle East face the societal pressure to prioritise their family over their career, which effects their participation in the corporate world. However, the new generation realises the important of career and are supportive of the women in their families.” In order to try and help others succeed, Ayesha lists some of the factors that helped her thrive WNB17011 Contact: Ayesha Shaikh Contact Email: [email protected] Address: Al Bairaq Complex 12th Floor, Al Egaila, Kuwait Phone: 96523824247 Website: as a woman in the corporate environment. Having confidence in their own ability, being thorough and not being afraid to ask the hard questions are all key aspects of what makes anyone, not just women successful in business. “There are many important factors but I would like to point out things that has helped me achieve my goals and manage my teams. Factors which I believe are key to success not only in education but any industry are such as being diligent, delegating responsibility with trust, staying ever curious and always learning and adapting to the new people and environment around you, not being reluctant to hire people smarter than yourself and giving them the tools and responsibilities to succeed. This way you will make a fantastic team, and its success will only boost your confidence and stature in any organisation.” Looking to the future of the firm, Ayesha is confident that it will continue to flourish, as she proudly explains. “Ultimately, education is one of the growing industry in Kuwait, and being a defensive sector the impact of the downturn in the economy after drop in oil prices has been minimal. In the last few years, we have witnessed growth and improvements in the enrolments of the students across our schools. We have invested in expansion and new infrastructures and state of the art facilities in our school along with investment in human capital to enhance the quality of offerings and learnings to the students.” In her concluding comments, Ayesha discusses what changes she would like to see within the MEA corporate landscape which would make it easier for women to succeed. “Overall, women should realise that, they may have to perform much better than the men to be noticed, hence they must work harder, and be more efficient and smarter in their approach. Doing the daily work without enthusiasm will not help, adding value to the company in new ways and taking initiative will certainly help them. Women, have enormous family responsibilities and making it easier for her to manage will go a long way in giving them confidence that they belong to the corporate world.”