By profession, Laila Jamil is the Business Development Consultant for the British Council. But she is, in reality, much more than that. She has worked in the social sector for SIUT, she is a swimmer and cyclist, and most interestingly she is now an agriculturist as well. Life brought her at the crossroads of a tough decision quite early. After finishing her education in the US she was in the process of getting a work visa and starting a job that is the dream of any graduate. But she got the news that her grandfather was critically ill and possibly on his deathbed. She quickly decided that her grandfather, someone who had been a pillar of support for her during her childhood, will get precedence, so she dropped everything and flew back to Karachi.
The ability to take such decisions is what seems to have powered Laila in her life. She looks for the positive in everything. In SIUT, the work environment was a very challenging one for a woman but Laila focused not on the difficulties but on the opportunity that it provided to meet and learn from a large cross section of people. Every time she faces a difficult moment or feels herself going weak she takes a step back for a breather, looks for the positives in the situation and then jumps right back in to solve the problem.
Independence, for Laila, is a choice. Independence doesn’t only mean working or being out of the house. True independence is when a woman is free to make her choices. “For many women it is important to work, but equally there are women who find their financial security from their families and choose to be homemakers. There should be no obligation.”
Which is why she appeals to young women to be fully confident of what they want to do. “Once you are sure you want to do something you like, you have to be determined. It should not matter then that other people are trying to discourage you or stop you. Also, it is essential to take care of yourself.” Laila finds balance in her life by swimming, cycling, and most recently farming. Whether it’s work, a hobby, or family life, Laila believes in giving a hundred percent.
Laila also speaks about Breast Cancer because she has experienced it in her friends and family. Her grandmother, aunt, and best friend’s mother are some of the breast cancer survivors that Laila knows personally. She believes that the work organizations are doing to create awareness about this particular type of cancer is very important.
“If I had discovered my love for agriculture sooner I may just have done a degree in agriculture,” Laila says with a smile. It is this love for adventure and seeking out the opportunity in every situation that makes Laila a Miracle Woman.