The love of adventure and experience forced her to break stereotypes, away from thinking about job security, so Maha Farid Shira, the regional director of my client company in Riyadh, decided to go through the experience that started in the private sector to work and ended. with the establishment of a business incubator for women, and a number of quality institutions and projects. This rebellious tendency against stereotypes has given her multiple experiences, which is why she founded Sheworks Center in 2015, and worked to empower entrepreneurs through interaction through social networking sites, and she held various positions. In the following dialogue, Maha talks about her experience, the positions she has reached and how private projects have succeeded.
Dialogue and coordination | Awatif Althunaian
Photography | Mohammed Obaidy Mohammed Obaidy
make-up | Mervat Alkharbush
Location | Asas Al Mal Investment Company
Adventure and experience
Why did you go to the business sector and not others?
Since I was young, I have heard of trade and business, and this world has been very interesting and curious to me, especially since many people in my growing up years were not interested in trade, but rather worked in the public sector, and the striving for a job.
It’s my nature to love adventure and experience, I decided to take this experience, which started working in the private sector, and ended with the establishment of two projects for an incubator (His Work) for women, and a number of commercial institutions, and quality projects, such as the Zabooni application.
How do you see the risks in the private sector? Why is the majority eager to have jobs in the public sector?
In the past, everyone was looking for job security and short time, through appointment in the public sector and government agencies, and today this culture has changed, so those looking for national challenge and achievement join the public sector and bring their qualifications and experience, as well as the vision of 2030 and the future aspirations of the Kingdom, the role of great. As far as the issue of risks in the public sector is concerned, in my opinion these are challenges that can turn into obstacles or opportunities, depending on your preparation for them and how you act.
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I asked for help
What obstacles did you encounter? And how did you overcome it?
I encountered some challenges for which I was not prepared, or for which I did not know how to solve; Because of my lack of experience at that time, and the lack of guides and counselors who could help me, and hold my hand, I overcame this first by asking for help, looking for experienced people, trusting some people, assigned tasks to them, and this later turned into brothers and friends.
From whom did you receive support and encouragement?
The first supporter and supporter of my own business was and still is my husband, if it were not for God, then his support and encouragement would have been for me, my journey would have been much harder and harder.
What are your most important professional achievements?
The most important professional achievements I have achieved are represented in holding various positions, such as a teacher, translator, photographer and company director. In fact, I see that I have not achieved enough. Every day I learn something new, and I try to acquire new skills that benefit me in the position I am in, through experiences, expertise, training and mixing with specialists.
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Think outside the box
What do you think economic development needs to achieve its goals?
To achieve its goals, economic development must focus on the goal, train and qualify Saudi youth, give them the opportunity, open the doors of work, trust in their abilities, empower them, open the door to creativity, innovation and outside thinking the box, in addition to adopting new experiences, accepting others, and changing the culture of consumption. Only, transform into a production culture.
To achieve the goals of economic development, it is necessary to focus on the goal and to equip the youth with training
My ambition is to be among the most prominent Saudi women and to achieve outstanding achievements for my country
Improving the quality of life
Do you expect the Corona crisis and its aftermath to pose new challenges … did it affect your business?
Yes, it may not have posed any challenges, as much as it has put us before the accomplished fact, namely that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has arrived, and it has been used in an efficient way, such as working remotely with working hours. organize, and determine how to measure performance and productivity for workers and students, while maintaining human relationships that differentiate people from machines, in addition to improving the quality of life, human health and the planet we live on, to find solutions for the environments – and psychological pollution in which some of us have lived, and find ways to use the machine, as well as to utilize human creativity and thinking, and to improve his standard of living so that he and his family can enjoy a decent life. , and to devote his energy to his religion, and the construction of the earth as God commanded us.
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Do not keep up with the market
What is the nature of the changes that Saudi women are facing to integrate into the labor market?
Some of the variables are educational, as some are not prepared for the labor market due to some of the old education outputs that do not keep pace with the real market, and their solution lies in the development of curricula, the change of teaching methods, the presenting ways to switch. universities and teaching roles with sectors, projects, volunteering, and the participation of female students and their professors. Others are social, as there is no real preparation to deal with the market situation and sectors, except through the work itself and the experience, by offering jobs to young women, empowering them, participating with their families, to nurture, to preserve their rights. , and to make them aware of it at home and at work.
The Corona crisis has put us in front of an accomplished fact to improve the quality of life
Equal pay positions
How do you evaluate the work fields for Saudi women, is it in line with their financial needs and degree?
The recruitment process is still carried out through relationships, knowledge and relationships, regardless of qualifications and experience. We do not have a real network that connects specialists and experts to the jobs and positions offered, and many government sectors and large companies depend on recruitment companies do not always think of the employee’s interest, but in the interest of his primary client, which is the business or the service business. In the same direction, universities have begun to open departments and specializations that were only for men, and scholarships are still underway for rare specializations for both sexes. , and that these positions are equal to salaries, nature of work, degree of hardship and performance.
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You played a role in helping women start-ups start their businesses. Tell us about it?
Praise the Lord, in 2014 I established the first business incubator dedicated to women due to a serious need I felt at the time, which is the lack of a suitable place and work environment for female entrepreneurs in the true sense of the word to support them , achieve ways of their education, continuity, and support their passion, which I believe is the main motive for the entrepreneur, And not just financial gain, which is also a requirement. It has formed a vibrant community of women who are worthy of their aspirations and ideas, and who respect their circumstances and needs of all kinds. not. and we have served more than 6,000 customers of various specialties and classes, men and women.
Deliver a woman’s voice
What are your future ambitions?
My ambition is to be among the most prominent Saudi women, to achieve great achievements for my country, to convey the voice and image of the Kingdom and Saudi women to all parts of the world, and to my parents, may God protect them, my husband, and my children to be proud of me.
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