Women's empowerment in Pakistan is close to the heart of international student Beenish as she embarks on her two-year MBA. Gaining knowledge, practical experience and confidence, she plans to challenge gender inequality in the workplace in Pakistan and break the glass ceiling.
Pakistan is my home country and the place where I grew up. It is the place where I found my personality and myself. It is the place of my culture and beliefs. For me, it is the place that taught me about the good in me and gave me the experience of life. Along with all that, I soon developed a sense of logical and analytical thinking. But as a fact; when you have an aware mind, it gets hard to ignore your observations. Certain situations where I found myself facing the gender disparity led me to think hard on how I could work to bring a change to this mind-set in a practical way. It was a mind-set that seemed set in stone and I believed it was time to change it.
Society's glass ceiling
From that point on, I was committed to being a successful female entrepreneur in Pakistan. This was my inspiration and my dream in life as a way of making a difference in a vast society that I wanted to help. In order to achieve my goal, I attended university and started pursuing my studies in business administration. Soon after I graduated from university, I started an internship in a company. There, I observed another glass ceiling in society. I saw that most of the top management positions in the organisation were occupied by men. Moreover, being a male dominant society where women are always thought of having a passive role rather than an active role, it was hard for anyone to accept orders from a woman as a management head. This was a glass ceiling that was yet to be broken.
A unique two-year course
It was while working in the company that I was told about an education fair going on in the city. It was a great opportunity for me to gather some information on how I could further my studies and attain a masters degree in business administration. So, I went to the expedition and I was told about a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) (Leadership Practice) at Edinburgh Napier University. This meant I could hone my skills not just as a person who can later work in a job but rather work as a leader or start my own business as an entrepreneur. It was the only masters degree that was extended to two years and offered the perfect opportunity for me as the course also provided me with practical experience in the form of a six-week work placement. It is a very unique course as no other university provides it over a two-year span, except for Edinburgh Napier. I was also offered a British Council GREAT Scholarship for my excellent academic record in my bachelors degree in Pakistan. I decided to join Edinburgh Napier to study the MBA (Leadership Practice) with a hope that when I graduate I will be able to establish myself as a successful female entrepreneur.
Cultural diversity and practical experience
It is 2018 and it is over a year since I joined the course. In the past year, I have gained a lot of experience. I attended a residential weekend to interact with people from a wide variety of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, successfully completed my work placement, represented Pakistan as an international student ambassador, attended various workshops and gained a lot of practical experience.
Being in Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University gave me a great chance to understand the culture and history of Scotland which I found to be surprisingly well preserved. Also, the lenient nature of the course curriculum has helped me to explore every subject and module of the course in as much detail as I want to. This helped me grow not just as a potential future female entrepreneur and leader but also as a person, as I got to experience the values and the scope of a wide range of thoughts that people from all over the world had.
Breaking the glass ceiling
All in all, standing firmly at the present spot in time, I am a confident person with just the right direction to achieve my dreams and break the glass ceiling in Pakistan relating to gender inequality. My resolve is stronger than ever and my faith in myself renewed as I march towards my goals with my head held high.
I would definitely recommend anyone looking for a great platform for beginning their career in leadership to strongly consider studying the MBA (Leadership Practice) at Edinburgh Napier University as it is a great experience that can only be had once in a lifetime.