Influential Muslim Women: Historic & Contemporary 3

Throughout Muslim history women have been in the forefront of society, taking active part in communal life in a variety of different roles, not only as mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. Not only were these women active community members and philanthropists, they were encouraged and well respected within Muslim societies.

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PtMSis Influential Muslim Women Historic & Contemporary April 2019 Invitation

Date: Saturday 27th April 2019

Time: 2.30-5.15pm

Location: Euston Road

As Muslim women it is important that we have relevant and relatable role models from whom to draw inspiration, those who reflect the values of both deen and dunya. Fortunately, we do not necessarily have to look beyond our communities for such inspiration.

Throughout Muslim history women have been in the forefront of society, taking active part in communal life in a variety of different roles, not only as mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. Not only were these women active community members and philanthropists, they were encouraged and well respected within Muslim societies.

Join us to explore the contributions made by Muslim women across historic and contemporary life. In the third of our Influential Muslim Women series, we will explore the invaluable contributions made by Naseebah bint Ka’ab and Dr Hawa Abdi.

Who is your role model? Come join us to discuss further.

This is a sisters’ only event.

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Thanks to all who attended our #InfluentialMuslimWomen series event looking at inspirational historic (#NaseebahbintKaab) and contemporary (#DrHawaAbdi) role models. It is amazing to have such exemplar and relatable personae who convey the power and influence women have had in the past and continue today in Muslim societies.

The sheer strength of character, confidence, assertiveness, faith in God and their roles in the forefront of society by both women discussed inspired us all.

We had an in-depth discussion about the challenges and opportunities we face as Muslim women. At Pass the Mic Sis we aim to empower and provide a supportive space where we can express challenges faced with the mindset of looking for avenues to move forward with a positive mental attitude.

It was great to continue discussions and networking over dinner!

Special shout-out to our host #RegentsPlace!

Work-Life Balance – Can it be truly achieved?

Muslim women cannot be all airbrushed with the same colour, we are as diverse as the world in which we live. The aim of the session is to explore the experiences of a range of professional Muslim women and how they maintain a balance between their work and personal lives (or not!). What works, what doesn’t, and what can be done better? What challenges were faced, opportunities sought, and life lessons learnt?

PtMSis Work Life Balance Can it be Truly Achieved Feb 2019 Invitation

Date: Saturday 9th February 2019

Time: 2.45-5.15pm

Location: Farringdon

As working Muslim women we are uniquely placed in a position whereby multiple pressures influence the decisions we make in our work and private lives. Everyone seems to know how we should live our lives better than we do. Not only do we face society’s cultural expectations as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers and aunties, there are also the Islamic guidelines to adhere to. A lot of which comes down to how the Quranic teachings are interpreted. How to balance such expectations with our own aspirations?

Muslim women cannot be all airbrushed with the same colour, we are as diverse as the world in which we live. The aim of the session is to explore the experiences of a range of professional Muslim women and how they maintain a balance between their work and personal lives (or not!). What works, what doesn’t, and what can be done better? What challenges were faced, opportunities sought, and life lessons learnt?

A panel of sisters will share their experiences followed by a Q&A Session to engage the audience. The richness of the conversation will be found in the variety of ethnic and professional backgrounds and personal statuses of the sisters on the panel; some of the sisters on the panel are married, have kids, others are single or divorced. We appreciate each and every one of them.

Please note that this is a sisters’ only event and for security purposes venue details will only be disclosed to sisters who confirm their place.

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Light refreshments are available and any sisters interested can join us for dinner to continue discussions at a local restaurant after.

The venue is a short walk from Farringdon Station (Thameslink, Metropolitan, Hammersmith&City and Circle lines) and St John’s Street bus stop. There may be some limited on-street parking, although it’ll be on a first come first serve basis pending availability.

Alhumdulillah what a lovely session! We were pleased to have had #FahmidaRahman of #SteppingStonesStoke#SamiraAli of @unwomen, and #FarahDualeh of @inspirehercoachingltd as our guest speakers today at our ‘Work-Life Balance: Can it be truly achieved?’ event.

There were many learning points and ideas to take away. Appreciated how the speakers fully engaged with the attendees, who were equally responsive. Look forward to the next one in shaa Allah!

Quick #shoutout to #AttiaAli who couldn’t make it due to an unforeseen emergency and @MEBDesignLtd for once again providing a great Central London venue. Alhumdulillah.

The Elevator Pitch

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Date: Saturday 21st July 2018

Time: 2.45-5.15pm

Location: Farringdon

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, home-schooler, employee, or a sister looking for a career change, come and tell us your story!

The Elevator Pitch is the chance for you to test your ideas, generate leads or practice your presentation skills. OR all of the above. Whether you are just starting out, thinking of starting out or are already well-established in your field why not come and share your journey with us? No idea is too small or too big! Inspire others to begin or further their journeys.

As one of four Pitchers, you will be given 5 minutes to entice the audience, after which you will receive feedback through shared discussion. If you email the organiser prior to the event that you’d like to do a pitch along with what you hope to achieve from your 5 minute Pitch and post-Pitch feedback slot, we can try to direct the Q&A / feedback session accordingly. In shaa Allah.

Alternatively you could attend and enjoy the event as an audience member and join in with the discussions and Q&A sessions!

Please note that this is a sisters’ only event and for security purposes venue details will only be disclosed to sisters who confirm their place.

Light refreshments are available and any sisters interested can join us for dinner to continue discussions at a local restaurant after.

The venue is a short walk from Farringdon Station (Thameslink, Metropolitan, Hammersmith&City and Circle lines) and St John’s Street bus stop. There may be some limited on-street parking, although it’ll be on a first come first serve basis pending availability.

Thanks to the sisters who were able to battle through the tube closures and made it to our #TheElevatorPitch session. It was an intimate event with Pitchers receiving constructive feedback to hone in on and develop their #presentationskills and #confidence in #publicspeaking.

1st Anniversary: Journeys

It was good to reflect on the the journey of Pass the Mic Sis to see what was achieved within a short amount of time, with limited professional connections and resources. It just goes to prove that if one has the will to do something anything is possible.

Date: Saturday 5th May 2018

Time: 2.45-5.15pm

Location: Farringdon

This year we celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary / 1st Birthday of our establishment. It has been year of organising and meeting a range of Professional Muslim Women across industries, at various levels of experience and life stages.

It was an intimate session where we were able to talk quite in depth of our individual journeys, the challenges and opportunities we felt. What we succeeded in, what lessons we learnt and talked about where we would like to go now in the future.

It was good to reflect on the the journey of Pass the Mic Sis to see what was achieved within a short amount of time, with limited professional connections and resources. It just goes to prove that if one has the will to do something anything is possible. If a year a go someone would have told me that I would be organising networking events and contacting professional Muslim and non-Muslim women to be guest speakers, I would have laughed. But alhumdilillah an amazing bunch of Muslimahs have joined the ride and in shaa Allah we will continue to grow and attract a wider range of Professional Muslim Women in the year ahead.

So all you Professional Muslim Women out there, if you are interested in networking, supporting, learning and growing with an amazing range of fellow Muslim women come join us at our future events and help us develop the sessions further. In shaa Allah.

Influential Muslim Women: Historic & Contemporary 2

It was amazing having these two role models showcased during the session and a sense of female empowerment was felt in this group. The discussions that followed naturally were invigorating and showed how wonderful an opportunity it is for Muslim women to gather and discuss relevant topics, opportunities, and challenges we face.

Date: Saturday 10th February 2018

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Farringdon

During this session we explored the life of Noor Inayat Khan who during WW2 helped the British Government as a spy operating in Occupied France. She was an example of how many Muslims were took an active part in British society throughout history. We need to be educated about female Muslim role models throughout history and how our sisters in Islam took an active role in society, during major world events that we were not aware of.

As our contemporary role model we had the honour of having Maya Nasaani as our guest speaker. She spoke about her experiences across Saudi Arabia, Syria and here in London. The irony of it being that the her experience within the male dominated construction industry was no different in any of these regions. Maya, made her mark in Saudi Arabia by instead of waiting for an opportunity for her to progress in her to arise, she made it happen. She advocated for the inclusion of women in decision making roles and gained respect from her male colleagues by excelling in her role and proving her worth by doing.

It was amazing having these two role models showcased during the session and a sense of female empowerment was felt in this group. The discussions that followed naturally were invigorating and showed how wonderful an opportunity it is for Muslim women to gather and discuss relevant topics, opportunities, and challenges we face.

There were many women we started listing who are doing great work in representing Muslim women across a range of industries without forcing their faith on others. Muslim women are excelling in a range of professions much like women from across communities and faith groups. The sisters left the session feeling inspired and wanting to learn more about Muslim women in society.

New Year New You!

The discussion focused on setting goals that were more useful to our personal or professional aspirations by breaking them down into manageable chunks and using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time) method as a tool.

Date: Saturday 13th January 2018

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Farringdon

Looking to the year ahead, we used this session to consider productive and achievable goals for the coming months that were realistic and beneficial in the long run. The discussion focused on setting goals that were more useful to our personal or professional aspirations by breaking them down into manageable chunks and using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time) method as a tool.

It was an intimate session which enabled a more in-depth look at how we generally undertake tasks initially with great zeal, but more often than not run out of steam mid-way, losing focus and motivation to see them through to the end.

We also used this as another focus group to generate ideas for taking Pass the Mic Sis to the next level with more topics, method of advertising events, getting interested sisters to take part in the organisation of events and the potential platforms for launching the event series online.

Networking for Building and Maintaining Professional Relationships

This successful session focused on the challenges faced by Muslim women when it comes to networking at respective industry gatherings. From social customs to male dominated industries, most sisters in attendance agreed that as Muslim women the challenges we face are three-fold; firstly as women, secondly our diverse cultural backgrounds, and thirdly our Muslim identity.

Date: Saturday 4th November 2017

Time 3-5pm

Location: Vauxhall

This successful session focused on the challenges faced by Muslim women when it comes to networking at respective industry gatherings. From social customs to male dominated industries, most sisters in attendance agreed that as Muslim women the challenges we face are three-fold; firstly as women, secondly our diverse cultural backgrounds, and thirdly our Muslim identity.

This leads to having to overcome internal pressures and barriers placed by both ourselves and society leading to issues with mental health, lack of confidence, conviction and communication skills. Imagine juggling all or some of these while trying to navigate a room full of people with whom one shares little or no common ground.

We were honoured to have Siobhan Fitzpatrick as our first guest speaker, who made it all the way from Ireland especially to meet us and relay some of her experience and expertise in networking. She wrote an interesting article Allergic to Networking? which was perfect to start discussions.

Siobhan was very warm and gracious in how she listened and involved everyone in the session and gave some useful feedback which many of the sisters, including myself, tried out. The sisters who attended appreciated the presence of and external guest speaker, and expert in her field to give us her time and advice.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work

The session highlighted how much of a taboo mental health is within the Muslim community and society at large. To the extent that most affected will not reveal their condition to employers and recruiters for fear of losing their livelihoods and/or not being selected for potential opportunities.

Date: Saturday 30th September 2017

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Vauxhall

Our most popular event so far has been the Mental Health and Wellbeing session where we had a panel of sisters talking about their experiences of going through depression and various forms of mental health issues and how they dealt with it in two different ways; one sister actively sought medical help to treat her problems while the other found alternative means and self-help methods.

The session highlighted how much of a taboo mental health is within the Muslim community and society at large. To the extent that most affected will not reveal their condition to employers and recruiters for fear of losing their livelihoods and/or not being selected for potential opportunities.

The discussions that followed evoked emotions and sense of unity amongst the sisters who attended was heart-warming. The feeling of trust and openness of all proved why Pass the Mic Sis is an important platform to enable such conversations to happen in a safe and trusted group of sisters.

We will be following up this session in the coming months to take our discussions further to focus directly on how stress and mental health issues affect Muslim women in the workplace. Keep your eyes peeled for dates.

Introduction to Social Media for Professional Networking and Business Development

This session was packed with lots of information for sisters to take away. We looked at the concept of social media from its root within the marketing strategy of the business plan, the various platforms available for use within a professional context, finding out who the target market is and catering the content posted to their interests and needs, whilst maintaining the integrity and ethos of one’s own business/individual goals.

Date: Saturday 5th August 2017

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Canary Wharf

This session was packed with lots of information for sisters to take away. We looked at the concept of social media from its root within the marketing strategy of the business plan, the various platforms available for use within a professional context, finding out who the target market is and catering the content posted to their interests and needs, whilst maintaining the integrity and ethos of one’s own business/individual goals.

We explored the optimal times to post within each selected platform; we covered the most popular ones notably, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. Online tools worth looking into to help monitor and manage posts across these platforms include Buffer, Hootsuite and Trello. The ultimate goal for social media is to create business leads and direct traffic to one’s website, and thus improve it’s search engine optimisation (SEO).

As with every successful strategy one needs to research, plan, practice, and evaluate; what worked, what could have been better and something to think about next time. Then continue the cycle by doing further research or going back to plan again. The idea is that social media isn’t static, it needs to constantly be reviewed and adapted to retain, maintain and grow a loyal online following.

The aim of the session was to show the sisters in attendance that social media can be used professionally for business or career development purposes if utilised effectively in a strategic and well thought out way. We succeeded in convincing one sister to create a LinkedIn account as a great way to search for and be found for potential new roles. As the one presenting this information to the sisters, I followed this through at work to help further develop the social media strategy for the practice I work with during the day!

Inspirational Role Models 2: Influential Muslim Women

The ladies who attended valued the presentation of female Muslim role models and it evoked a great discussion on the experiences of sisters in the workplace based on their Muslim identities. The session felt important and the networking group valued for bringing together Muslim women to provide support and network within a comfortable group of sisters who genuinely understood.

Date: Saturday 8th July 2017

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Farringdon

This was a popular session during which we explored four different inspirational Muslim women. Our two historic examples included Khadijah (raa) and the Queen of Sheba. Both in their own way show how Muslim women can be leaders, business women, articulate, respected, all while maintaining their morals and empathy towards others.

The late Zaha Hadid and Ibtihaj Muhammad comprised our contemporary influential Muslim women. They both did groundbreaking work in their respective fields and as role models for future architects and sportswomen from the Muslim community.

This session was particularly important due to the nature of the way Muslim women are misrepresented by a wide variety of stakeholders from all sectors of society. It is time we stood up and raised our own voices as Muslim women. As Susan Carland rightly wrote in her piece for the Guardian online last year, “If you want to know about Muslim women’s rights, ask Muslim women”!

The ladies who attended valued the presentation of female Muslim role models and it evoked a great discussion on the experiences of sisters in the workplace based on their Muslim identities. The session felt important and the networking group valued for bringing together Muslim women to provide support and network within a comfortable group of sisters who genuinely understood.

Networking for Professional Muslim Women

The point of the session was to introduce ourselves to and meet other like-minded (or not) Professional Muslim Women and to provide a platform for support and networking. Many of us did not work with other Muslims, let alone Muslim women.

Date: Bank Holiday Monday 1st May 2017

Time: 12-2pm

Location: Canary Wharf

Our first event was a preliminary session to establish a group of sisters, identify the needs and introduce ourselves in regards our professional backgrounds and experiences.It was held within the offices of one of the attendees in Canary Wharf, 12-2pm.

One of the core concepts for formulating the group to ensure every attendee was given a voice through a timed elevator pitch in a pecha kucha (continuous non-stop) format. Each sister was given 3-minutes to say who she is, what she does and why she attended the session. The working name of the group at the time, formed via WhatsApp, was ‘Elevator Pitch Networking‘.

The point of the session was to introduce ourselves to and meet other like-minded (or not) Professional Muslim Women and to provide a platform for support and networking. Many of us did not work with other Muslims, let alone Muslim women.

The need arose from the very few networking groups in London for Professional Muslim Women. Many industry events tend to be held in the evenings, involve alcohol and social events not necessarily inline with our Islamic principles. Many of us found it very difficult to navigate ourselves during industry networking events due to cultural and social aspects of such meetups.

The session was successful as altogether 10 ladies turned up within the office of one of the attendees which amplified the professional nature of the networking event. What it conveyed was the variety of the fields within which Muslim women work. It helped identify the best time to meet and the idea of continuing discussions over lunch was much appreciated.

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