Monthly Archives: March 2017

International Women’s Day

IWD

Today we are celebrating International Women’s Day and what is a better way to do this than sharing some of the world’s most renowned women success stories.

 Helen Keller, 1880–1968

An American social activist. At the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people.
-“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”

Coco Chanel, 1883–1971

A French fashion designer. One of the most innovative fashion designers, Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. Her ideas were revolutionary; in particular she often took traditionally male clothes and redesigned them for the benefit of women

Tegla Loroupe, 1973–

A Kenyan athlete. Loroupe held the women’s marathon world record and won many prestigious marathons. Since retiring from running, she has devoted herself to various initiatives promoting peace, education and women’s rights. In her native Kenya, her Peace Race and Peace Foundation have been widely praised for helping to end tribal conflict.

Dalia Mogahed, 1974-

A researcher, author, adviser and a consultant who studies Muslim communities. Dalia Mogahed is an American scholar of Egyptian origin. She is also the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding at Washington, D.C, the president and CEO of Mogahed consulting, a Washington, D.C-based executive coaching and consulting firm specializing in Muslim Societies and the Middle East and she was selected as an adviser by the U.S president Barack Obama on the White House Office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships.
-“Remember this: For all the ugliness in the world there is far more beauty. For all the cruelty there is far more kindness. And remember one more thing: Those who remind you of this simple fact, keep them close.”

Djamila Bouherid, 1935-

She was born to a middle-class family in colonial Algeria. When all the Algerian students repeated every morning “France is our mother”, Bouhired would stand up and scream “Algeria is our mother!”From this time, Bouhired was drawn to the revolutionary cause. Her brothers having already been involved with the underground nationalist struggle, Bouhired was quick to join and her profile would quickly rise in stature. During the revolution she worked as a liaison agent for the commander Saadi Yacef.

In June 1957, before a large planned demonstration, she was captured by the French and, she claims, tortured for information about that demonstration. She did not divulge any information under torture and reportedly repeated “Algeria is our mother” while being tortured.

Rosalind Franklin, 1920-1958

When people think of DNA they tend to think of just Watson and Crick, the two men credited with the discovery of the DNA molecule, and winners of the Nobel Prize. In fact it was Rosalind Franklin, another scientist, who laid much of the groundwork – with her famed ‘photograph 51’ capturing the molecule on film.

Maya Angelou, 1928-2014

Maya Angelou was an American poet and a civil rights activist. She published 7 autobiographies, 3 books of essays and several books of poetry. She was active in the civil rights movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. With the publication of “I know why the caged bird sings”, she was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women and her works have been considered a defense of black culture.  Her books center on themes such as identity, racism, family and travel.
-“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

Zaha Hadid, 1950-2016

She was an Iraqi-born British architect. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
-“Yes, I’m a feminist, because I see all women as smart, gifted and tough” Zaha Hadid

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 1938-

She is the 24th and current president of Liberia, is the first democratically-elected female head of state in Africa. Following her election Sirleaf announced the creation of a “national peace and reconciliation initiative” to address the country’s divisions and begin a national dialogue that would bring the country together. In 2016, she was elected as the chair of the Economic Community of West African States, making her the first woman to occupy this position. Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2011 for her peace building work.
-“All girls know that they can be anything now. That transformation is to me one of the most satisfying things”

Lotfia ElNadi, 1907-2002

She was the first African Egyptian woman as well as the first Arab woman to earn a pilot’s license. ElNadi read an article about a flying school which had just opened in Cairo and determined that she would attend, despite her father’s objections.  ElNadi flew in the international race between Cairo and Alexandria. Flying at speeds averaging 100 miles per hour, she steered her single-engine plane to the finish-line before any of the other competitors. As she missed flying over one of the two tents located at midpoint of the course, which was required as part of the competition, ElNadi was not declared the winner.

Finally, that’s how much women have contributed to the world. Those women believed they could, so they did.

Volunteering

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Volunteering is generally considered a selfless activity where an individual or a group provides services freely for no financial gain and in the process benefit another person, group or organization.

The verb was first recorded in 1755. It was derived from the noun ‘Volunteer’, in late 16th century and meant at that time “One who offers himself for military service.” and it originated from the Middle French ‘Volontaire’ . In the non-military sense, the word was first recorded during the 1630s.

This term rapidly has changed over the time and has been spread widely until it became as we know it today. It crossed the lines of wars and made its way to each aspect of life. Over the past couple years, we rarely see someone who doesn’t volunteer in any kind of activities even if it’s inside the campus or outside with a sole purpose; to benefit the community in which someone resides. However, there are many kinds of volunteering more than what you know. Most popular and globally recognized volunteering activities for undergrads nowadays are Enactus, IEEE, TEDx and AEISEC.

So, how can you benefit from volunteering?
  • You expand your personal and professional networks
  • You learn new and transferable skills
  • It’s an opportunity for career exploration
  • You build a track record of work for a specific cause
  • Hiring managers value volunteerism
  • Brings fun and a sense of fulfillment to your life
Volunteering effect on recruiting and engaging

Did you know that today’s employees are increasingly entering the workforce with an expectation that volunteering will be a part of their professional careers?

PriceWaterhouseCoopers discovered that 88% of Millennials gravitated toward companies with pronounced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, and 86% would consider leaving if their employer’s CSR no longer met their expectations.

And according to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey, 61% of Millenials said a volunteer program would be a factor when choosing between two potential jobs with the same location, responsibilities, pay and benefits.

Deloitte found that over 50% of Millennial employees that volunteer are very loyal toward their company, proud to work there, satisfied with their employer, and likely to recommend their company to a friend.

Voulenteering effect on professional development

In a Skills-Based Volunteerism (SBV) program where volunteers use their professional skills in a different capacity to benefit a nonprofit or other organization — the gains that a business’ employees make are two-fold. First, they’ll hone their day-to-day skills: employees who participate in SBV programs are 142% more likely to report job-related skills gains than traditional volunteers, according to a True Impact report.

Secondly, exposure to a new environment — and new challenges — will allow employees to break out of their ‘comfort zone’ and develop other skills away from the office. According to Deloitte, 91% of Fortune 500 HR managers said, “Volunteering knowledge and expertise to a non-profit can be an effective way to cultivate critical business and leadership skills,” such as project management, communication, goal setting and evaluation.

Apart from developing their skills, SBV programs have the added benefit of being especially good at creating more engaged and fulfilled employees. According to True Impact, volunteers in SBV programs are 47% more likely to report higher satisfaction from their involvement than traditional volunteers, which means that in developing their employees’ skills, businesses are more likely to retain their talent as well.

Conclusion

This is the era of volunteering. It became largely associated with our lives that every household has a member or more who has done or still doing volunteer work. All for the sake of our community, and in the process of giving, you gain. You gain knowledge, skills, exposure to different environments and fulfillment. So volunteer and make a small impact because we all know that the ocean is made up of tiny drops of water.