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Tribune News Network
Galfar Al Misnad hosted a special event to commemorate the International Women’s Day recently. The event brought together the leading contracting company’s women employees, and was attended by the organisation’s Executive Director Satish G. Pillai and Senior General Manager Human Resources Joy G. Pettah.
Female employees at Galfar work in the company’s many offices, as well as on sites and sensitive nation building projects. Their various roles have bolstered the progress of the company and brought in essential gender diversity.
The theme for IWD 2022 ‘Break The Bias’ is exemplified by every woman working at the organisation that is part of an industry that has long been considered as a male domain. Though a small community, this tribe of Galfar women enjoy a constructive and close sisterhood, which was celebrated at the event.“It is good to see the number of women entering our company growing over the past few years. I commend our HR team for actively working to bring in this change to our workforce. We encourage you all to take the initiative on projects and aspire for leadership roles,” said Satish G. Pillai.
Galfar Al Misnad’s Head of Central Planning Madhavikutty K also addressed the event and gave advice and tips to her colleagues on navigating the professional realm as women. She highlighted three key factors for success in the workplace – education, ethics and efficiency. Following this, the attendees were invited to share thoughts and experiences.
Longtime employees as well as those who had newly joined participated in this interactive session, where they inspired and emboldened their colleagues with their anecdotes.
Nasreen Shoukath reminisced on how, until recently, she was the only woman in the building division. She found that male colleagues initially would not expect her to be at activities held on distant sites and would be surprised to see her there. “To establish your professional space, it is important to be assertive and claim one’s rights as an equally, if not more, qualified and experienced employee,” she said.
Recently joined employees found this information very helpful, as they were facing similar situations as they started out at their own sites.
Breaking into the ‘Boys Club’ was the biggest challenge they faced at work and hearing Nasreen’s experience on the same was inspirational, they said.
Others shared stories of personal grit and determination.
Belinda Cayabyab, a single mother who lost her husband when she was pregnant, said it was her baby that gave her the resilience to overcome the tragedy.
Nine years ago she made the tough decision to leave her daughter in the care of her family in The Philippines and came to Qatar to ensure a good future for her child.
Aneesa Regims, a longtime employee with Galfar, said that her children grew up watching her as a working mother.
This has inspired them to be independent themselves and her daughter is now pursuing her medical degree in India and aspires to be a doctor.
Charry Santos, who just completed 10 years at the company, said that it is easy to get stuck in the same job role if one does not make the effort to create change.
Her drive to learn opened the doors to new possibilities and growth within the organisation. She advised her colleagues to stay true to who they are as individuals, to make a difference.
The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony, in which the longest serving female employee, Shyma Shafi, did the honours.
All employees were given a memento to mark the occasion.
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