The grounded and the very affable Zohra Samiuddin is a mother of 3 a year old and the General Manager of Investments at the Westbury Group of Companies. Fortunately, she has plenty of support from home and works for an understanding organization which helps her manage her personal and professional life with panache. For Zohra, “it is all about quality time. You must give your best at everything. I have been lucky to have been a part of an organization that has given me the benefit of flexible working hours because they understand that I am a mother. But you will only get such benefits at work if you give them your 100%. When I am at home with my son, I give him my 100%. Once I put him down for the day, I give time to myself and my husband.” Zohra emphasizes that being a woman is not an excuse to be given privilege at work, in fact it is a bigger burden to prove yourself.
At the time of marriage, Zohra was given the choice to continue working by her husband and she values this freedom of choice. She chose to make a career for herself but was adamant to strike the crucial work-life balance. “I similarly had choice to give up work or continue my career when I became a mother and I decided to continue working. The period of maternity leave for me was difficult and during that break I knew I had to go back to work. Thanks to having support at home, I was back at work in no time. I have never felt that had I chosen to be a stay-at-home mum, things would have been better.” Zohra’s circumstances were not the reasons she chose to be financially independent but she believes that there’s no doubt that having a career does make a woman financially and emotionally strong. Working teaches a woman how to be practical, how to express her point of view and gives her a certain degree of street smartness. Therefore, Zohra believes working is important as it contributes positively to a woman’s personality. “By not working, you are rusting yourself just like a machine that is not in use. If a woman feels she may not have the opportunity to pursue a career, that in no way means she should not get education. Education will allow her to become broad minded and approach life in a pragmatic way,” Zohra proclaims.
Zohra is a firm believer of the fact that if one is good at something, one must do it. There are no such jobs that are not ‘fit’ for a woman to do. “If a woman feels she is good at driving a rickshaw and can make a living out of it, who says she shouldn’t do it? When we go to restaurants, I am sure that 90% of the chefs are men but when it comes to the kitchen at home, men would never help as in our culture, it is a woman’s job to cook for the family.” Therefore, these are just norms created by the society and for Zohra, there is no demarcation between jobs for males and females.
“I have 2 miracle moments,” says Zohra. “One of them is the time when I heard my baby cry for the first time. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. And the second one is when I cleared my foundation level of CA. I was the only one from my batch who cleared the exam. Seeing my name in the list of 100 people who had passed was not only a miracle moment but a trigger for me to step ahead in life too.” It is clear that personal as well as professional successes complete Zohra as a woman. Her Miracle Journey is proof of the fact that when you are honest and give your best to everything you do, you can be a champion at work and at home. Being a working woman does not have to mean sacrificing on important aspects of motherhood or vice versa. When you put your mind to it, the sky is the limit!