At the age of 28, married with two children, Nadia Hassan joined the workforce for the first time at SEKEM. As a wife and mother, Nadia chose to support her family and take on the career challenge, not only to improve their financial situation, but most of all to set the example for her children and to make them proud of their mother.
Nadia grew up in Kafr Ayoub; a few kilometers from SEKEM main farm, with her parents and four siblings. Right after she received her B.A. in Science, Nadia got married and not long after, she welcomed twins; Salma and Amr. For the following three years, Nadia has grown accustomed to her new life, and she developed and matured to match her responsibilities as a mother. In order to support her family and share the financial burdens with her husband, Nadia Hassan then decided to start working for the first time, 10 years ago.
Even in the 21st century, the small village of Kafr Ayoub posed a cultural and social challenge for Nadia to work. Yet with the support and understanding of her husband and family, Nadia took on the role of a Quality Control Supervisor in iSiS Organic, one of SEKEM’s subsidiary companies. Nadia dropped off her kids at SEKEM Nursery everyday before work. “I can’t imagine being able to work if it was any other place. Being able to leave Salma and Amr in a safe and trusted environment gave me the peace of mind to pursue my career,” says the loyal employee.
Time and experience are the best teachers
When Nadia first suggested starting her career and sharing the financial loads and responsibilities with her husband Ahmed Eleim, he didn’t object to the idea as he was influenced by his surrounding culture and believed that the house and children’s responsibilities lie only on the wife. But it wasn’t long until Ahmed changed his ideas and started to offer a hand wherever needed. “My work didn’t only change me but also changed my husband; we became true life partners and grew to share everything with love and understanding. I’m really glad we’re giving this example to our children,” expresses Nadia.
Personal development and ambition lead to growth
In pursuit of success and career development, Nadia took many trainings and diplomas. Eventually her efforts paid off and she finally became Quality Control Manager. Responsible for four employees, Nadia made sure to learn from her experience with her previous managers to build a solid and positive relationship with her new team by constantly enrolling them in all sorts of work related trainings as well as cultural and artistic workshops to inspire creativity in each one of them.
“The first turning point for me at SEKEM was when Dr. Ibrahim invited me to attend his weekly meetings where he ran an open discussion and created space for expression. Although I failed in the beginning to understand most of what has been said, a bond with SEKEM and a sense of belonging was created. Then my wonderful manager Mohamed Anwar saw my ambition and competence and chose to put his trust in me and assigned me the role of Quality Control Manager.” recalls Nadia. This invitation and trust left a great impact in Nadia’s mind and kindled her motivation and confidence. “This is exactly what I try to give back to my employees. When you put your trust in someone and show them appreciation, you see results not only in the employee’s satisfaction and motivation but also in the workflow and productivity”, explains Nadia Hassan. “As a manager, I measure my success by the success of my employees and their ability to develop and grow.”
Now also mother to Farida, today 38 year old Nadia has even more motivation to take on new challenges and to empower others as Ibrahim Abouleish empowered her. Nadia and her family are an example of the new era we live in, where promoting human development also in economic and working life is the only path to.