#IWD2021: Interview with Huda Mirza

International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event to celebrate women’s achievements and spread the message of female empowerment and gender equality across the world.

As the day grows near, Bahrain Confidential celebrates the achievements of women in Bahrain and around the world by putting them on the spotlight and knowing how they #ChoosetoChallenge every day.

Today’s spotlight is on Huda Mirza, Director of Talent & Culture, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.

What does the 2021 International Women’s Day slogan, #ChoosetoChallenge mean for you in your work life?

Life is all about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward and savoring the journey. #ChoosetoChallenge leads to the change and we all know change is the only constant that is certain in whole world.

I would have never reached my true potential until I challenged myself to go beyond the limitations and learnt something valuable from all the significant events and people. Without challenges, life would be monochrome. It is a beautiful daily challenge to be a professional woman. Eleanor Roosevelt says, “Choose a challenge instead of competence.”

What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

The problematic beliefs and perceptions are held by both men and women. It’s these reasons that make the problem difficult to address. In the business world, women leaders are still a minority. During the past three decades, women have achieved parity with men in the number of both employees in the workforce and positions in management. This statement comes as no surprise to most of us: what is surprising is that men outspace women in leadership roles across every sector in the world: corporate, non-profit, government, education, medicine, military etc.

In short, where there is will, there is a way. If there is problem, there is solution. I surely faced barriers as others, but I always believed – to be accepted as a leader, one treads a fine line between two opposing sets of expectations. One hand cannot clap alone. In addition, of course, and foremost, God’s guidance.

What’s one tip that greatly impacted you and your career trajectory?

Career Pathing itself is such a powerful term. I was and still am self-aware. I create a plan that will help me understand the path I need to take. Once the career path is composed, staying flexible and open to opportunities is key. We have more power over our career paths than we often realize. Nobody but yourself have to believe in the dreams to make them a reality.

I follow my heart and use my logical intuition. The heart will never get wrong because within reside all the answers.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

Surround yourself with the correct positive people that will enhance your persona and outlook. It is very important to lead by the example, so love yourself first, then only will you be able to take the correct decisions, not only in your career, but also in your life.

A famous quote by Hans F Hansen, “It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand-alone.

What do you enjoy doing the most when you’re off work?

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” –  Doe Zantamata

I relax, recharge and reflect. Sometimes it’s okay to do nothing. I devote more time to my own interests like reading, exploring new experiences. Some “me time”, fill my own cup to then pour into my family, spend quality time with my beloved daughter. My family is the top most priority to me, I create the best memories with them. Dancing connects myself with my divine feminine side. Horse riding roots me and gives direction to my passions. And of course, feeling good at my Thalassa Wellness & Rehabilitation Center at Sofitel Bahrain.