At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. Today, on the occasion of International Woman’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Dubai-based entrepreneur Sadia Anwar (Founder and CEO of Storically.com), few questions on her experience achieving success in the field of entrepreneurship, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you.
Sadia: I am Sadia, a woman pursuing a dream. I have recently launched my startup, www.Storically.com that aims to create personalized books to preserve personal history and amplify diversity. I am a creative wanderer; a dreamer, thinker and doer who believes passionately in the power of storytelling. Words are powerful. They don’t just define our reality, they create it. My mission is to use the power of stories to promote diversity and help people connect with their own history and culture.
I have worked for more than 12 years in Architecture and Lighting Design, following which I completed by Masters in business. I am children’s’ book author and a mother of two amazing children, who inspired me to work within the field of children’s books.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Sadia: Every woman who dares to speak her authentic truth and stand by her principles is an inspiration. I have many of these women as close friends, and so many I meet every single day. At the risk of being controversial, a woman I admire is the ‘Bandit Queen’ or Phoolan Devi. Poverty, child marriage, abuse led her to fight back viciously and head into a life of crime, capture and finally politics. Her story is truly unique, and an unfathomable mix of right, wrong, terror and justice.
Through it all, I truly believe she stuck to her authentic truth.
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Sadia: By reaching out to, connecting with and celebrating the awesome women I have around me. My daughter, mother, friends and sisters. And by giving a bonus and a gift to a very important woman, without whom, my daily life would fall apart – my helper at home. She does more than I can every repay her for.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Sadia: Be yourself, unapologetically you. Understand, and speak your truth. You are invincible.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Sadia: Choice. Women empowerment, to me, is each woman being able to choose for herself what she wants to do and be. A woman having control over her own life-choices, without societal or monetary pressure. Whether that choice be about when to get married, whether to have children, be a career woman or a home-maker.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Sadia: Patriarchal thought and beliefs are deeply entrenched in society, across economic status and geographies. Patriarchy takes many forms and shapes, and is dangerous not just for women, but for society as a whole. From issues of personal safety, to unequal pay to under representation on boards of large corporations, the challenges are too many to list. It’s hard to pick which are the main ones!
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