What does the 2022 International Women’s Day slogan, #BreaktheBias mean for you in your work life?
As a Bahraini woman who has started to work as a chef since 2009. It was an unorthodox move and very uncommon during those times, I had to grow and get recognized by travelling to multiple countries to train and work with renowned international chefs to break the bias of what the title chef meant in this region.
What is the main challenge that you’ve faced as a woman in your industry?
In an industry that is dominated by men, it is very important to not give up. The main challenge is to endure the heat of the kitchen and at the same time keep up with the fast pace of service, stay creative and sacrifice a lot of personal time and days off for my career in order to grow and succeed. It’s very rare in this region to find a woman working as a chef as most companies tend to hire men, so one of the challenges is to go above and beyond while staying focused.
What has been the most empowering moment in your career?
One of my most empowering moments is when offered the opportunity to represent Bahrain in EXPO 2020 at the Bahrain Pavilion. It has inspired me to create a goal to have guests walking in mainly for the food and create a memory of our beautiful island. It has been empowering to see that we have achieved our goal ever since.
Which powerful woman do you admire the most and why?
My mother is the most powerful woman I admire. As a single mother of five children, she has never once stopped supporting my ambition when everyone thought it was wild of me to wear an apron for a career. She continued to support me even through hardships and has always taught me to never give up. Her support is what keeps me strong when things get too stressful.
Do you have any advice for women wanting to start their own business or work their way up the ladder?
I have always been a strong advocate for “working your way up the ladder” before opening your own business. Like every career, it is very important to grow your way up, have a strong working background in your field, be polished by mentors and learn how to lead a team. It is important to stay strong during tough times as hard work always pays off even if yours takes longer than others.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
I would love to see more women joining the hospitality field in general and have organizations in place to support future young females who wish to grow, learn and work on their passion.