After reaching one of the highest of executive ranks in an esteemed international company, Rana Askooul, writer, poet and an inspirational entrepreneur decided to walk away from it all and dedicate her time to her own project “Changing Pink”, which aims to drive change and to improve the status quo especially for women in the workforce.
The name Changing Pink was derived from personal experience, Rana explains, “A colleague of mine decorated her work space in pink, very feminine, very soft, and from that she missed many advancing opportunities, she wasn’t taken seriously although she is qualified if not more so than the other more formal well suited employees. With changing pink I am hoping to transform that image, and prove that women have what it takes to excel in the workforce.”
Rana adds, “During my career path in Human Resources I’ve witnessed the inequality of job progression and fewer opportunities presented for women than men especially in executive positions, more so to those women who also have families and struggle between both roles.
After getting married myself and having my first child I realized the weight of responsibility placed on the shoulders of a career woman. On one side she is trying to fulfill her motherly instinct of caring for her family and on the other hand wanting to prove that she is as capable of carrying out her job duties efficiently. This in turn adds monumental pressure on the woman. Usually men when stressed find ways to speak up about it, but most women feel the need to continue combating harder afraid if speaking out it would be interpreted as a sign of weakness and incapability. From here the concept of “Changing Pink” came to life needing to raise awareness on gender diversity, empower women in the corporate sector and bridge the gender gap in leadership. This creates a healthier work environment for both genders to help excel and better serve their companies and career paths.”
Rana tells us about some of the challenges that she faced, “Unfortunately one of the biggest issues is lack of women supporting one another. When I started my business I thought I would get women’s encouragement more than men, but the opposite happened. Maybe this is due to the lack of self-confidence some women have, feeling threatened by another woman’s success as if it is an attack on her personally. Also I deal with some of the social pressures seeing many women giving in to negativity having no motivation to improve themselves, ending their dreams once married and at home.”
We asked Rana about her future goals and dreams,
“Personally I wish for the success of my project as it has the undertaking of vital social development for women in the workforce and that deserves all the support.
I also believe that the only constant is change, therefor I wish for the Arab woman to be innovative and power progress and advance in life; and this won’t happen without women working together to make the change. I send out a message to all successful women to reach out to other women and help them succeed as well, and to have faith that at the end they too will reap the benefits of their efforts.”
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For this interview in Arabic click here:
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