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.

PtMSis Work Life Balance Can it be Truly Achieved Feb 2019 Invitation2

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.

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.

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.