Affable and warm, Sadia Khan, the Chief Operations Officer at Autosoft Dynamics says “I’ve been all over the place, lived across 3 continents and been in Pakistan for 14 years now.” Over the course of these 14 years, Sadia met her husband and had 3 children while also creating a great career path for herself. Being a mother as well as a career woman, she sometimes does find herself bogged down by the pressure but with her positive attitude she is able to combat all difficulties that come her way. Her mother in law once told her, “When it falls on your head, everything becomes possible.” This struck a chord with Sadia and has become her mantra ever since.
Sadia believes no challenge is unsurmountable. “I haven’t faced a great deal of challenges per say but what I am is an executor by definition, so when I get thrown a task I make that happen.” She was born in a well to do family where she was taught that there was nothing she couldn’t do in life. Growing up, she was surrounded by strong, prominent and empowered women who served as role models for her. When she began working 14 years ago, there were barely any women in senior positions in Pakistan. She knows where hr strengths lie and contrary to popular belief, she found doors to open much more easily for women than their male counterparts. Thankfully, her good working ethics have always allowed her to command, rather than demand, respect.
Sadia is a proponent of women’s empowerment and believes that organizations must take strong measures to create an environment conducive to women. “I may not be working purely for financial needs but the average woman is working to ease the monetary pressures of her household situation so it critical that those who are in senior positions make every effort help them succeed,” she says. She recently met two fantastic young girls at her home who were sent to her by ‘Ghar Par’, a home salon service that has just started in Lahore. “They had fascinating stories of how they’re lifting their household structure from where it was. One of them was getting a motorcycle and solving her transport issue. These are the women coming up with new innovative ways to work in their environment. These are the kind of women who inspire me,” she says. For all the women out there, she advices, “there’s nothing you can’t do, don’t let anyone tell you there is. My 6 year old used it against me the other day that mum, you may be able to do everything but you can never become Allah miaan or a frog,” she relates with a laugh. “Therefore, for all things other than these two, the sky is the limit, aim high and you should be able to achieve whatever you want to do.”
Sometimes, Sadia stands at crossroads between motherhood and work. “My first child had his first class play, it was so important for us and we were very excited as a family to go and see his performance. However, the day before the final performance, I got a call and I had to travel for work for a meeting. I tried moving mountains but they said no, you have to be there in the morning. I remember dropping him off and hiding my tears. Both sets of grandparents and his dad were there. That was my introduction to mommy guilt,” she says with a smile. “After that I’ve realised there are going to be certain milestones that I or my husband won’t be able to be there for but together as one unit you have to be there for everything.”
Over time, Sadia has managed to strike a balance. She makes sure any time she’s with her kids is quality time and believes quantity becomes less important if you’re giving good quality time. “I often ask myself, am I doing it right, just like any other working mother would. When they come to me at the end of a hard day and say I am great just the way I am, that’s what gives me substantial pride,” she says. Her own mother was a doctor but she quit her job and spent all her time raising her children. “She was a great mother and I think there’s so much more she could’ve done when we were young but she chose to give it up.” And keeping that note close to her heart, Sadia steps out of her house everyday to make a difference in the world. She does it for her own self-fulfilment but like a woman with a magic wand, makes sure her kids still get the best of her. She multitasks, that too, really well, which is why she is a Pond’s Miracle Woman.