Aya shares with Arab Woman Mag more about her journey,
Why did you choose this career path?
Since my graduation I wanted to work in renewable energy for two profound reasons, first to help conserve our environment especially after the numerous environmental issues being faced in our world today, such as global warming, pollution and natural resources depletion. The other reason to pursue such a career was what my country Jordan was suffering from deficiency of natural resources as it imports 96% of its energy, and this has negative consequences on the economy, political and social aspects of the country.
Tell us about your career journey up until you receiving your award in 2014?
My journey consists of two paths, one my work in the private sector for about two years as a Business Developer Engineer in companies specializing in solar energy. And my other path is my volunteer work for environment conservation and raising awareness for renewable energy through a number of projects, some of which are: representing the private sector and its influence to help change the ecosystem in Jordan, and to participate in the scientific preparation for the competition of Her Highness Queen Alia for the social responsibilities that address solar energy in its two forms thermal energy and electro-light energy by giving out flyers to approximately six hundred thousand students throughout the country, yearly, detailing the competition.
I have also participated as a judge in numerous contests such as JoGreen for university students that aim to build green, and this year it was in the form of a green mosque. My other judging experience was for an Eco School that was organized by the Baccalaureate School for other schools. Additionally I am very active on social media to raise awareness about environmental issues and how to preserve renewable energy, as well as giving lots of workshops and being part of different festivals within Jordan as well as other countries such as Switzerland and South Africa.
Most recently I was nominated by the engineer Mr. Samer Zwaydah for the international award of Young Energy Professional of The Year by the Association of Energy Engineers, and I am proud to have won being chosen from hundreds of engineers from around the world.
In your opinion what are some of the obstacles faced generally by Arab women today?
Not having the support from family and society which may lead in demotivating her and making her focus more on what society thinks is a more appropriate role for a woman such as being a house wife and getting a regular job to just pay the bills neglecting her passion, creativity and intellect. I also believe that there is some discrimination when hiring women, as men are always preferred especially in the private sector, and financial compensation is usually more for men than women regardless of their educational background.
What are some of the obstacles you personally faced?
I wasn’t given equal salary like my male colleagues and work opportunities where less. Being forced to abide by rules and regulations that no longer serve their purpose in this day; and therefor this limited my creativity. I also touched the lack of support and co-operation between women among themselves. I also witnessed the assumption that women cannot over take and excel over a man in the work place thinking less of her capabilities even though she might be more qualified.
How did you overcome these obstacles?
I am very blessed to have the financial, emotional and sentimental support of my family and my husband and his family. This helps me to excel and put more focus on my work and career. Providing me with the time needed to fulfil my volunteer work over family duties at times. And at the work front I was sometimes a rebel not always following the rules if I felt it limited my creativity, and I try not to listen to negative people as their attitude can have a big impact on a person, my love for my work is always greater than anything that wants to hold me back.
What advice do you give Arab girls who have dreams yet are dissuaded by society?
Find your passion so you can be creative and excel, and once you find it you must learn to be diplomatic to gain the support of others. Competing between men and women in our society is not equal, there for women have to work twice as hard to be acknowledged in the workforce. Most importantly never give up on opportunities to volunteer and attending conferences that would add value to your accomplishments and networks.
“Finally I would like to add that I am very proud of representing my country Jordan, and putting it on both youth leadership and green energy maps internationally.”
For this interview in Arabic click here:
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