The Art of Working and Succeeding in Male Dominated Industries, Event Recap

Excitement and wonder were at the center of our October event as our women that were there to share their experiences were different by nature as at the core of their achievement,shined a capacity that transcended societal limitations that were long established for centuries.

These women, TigistBelayneh, MeskeremTamiru, and RahelShawel, that were there to shade the light of courage to many other women who strive in their occupations, indeed brought a sense of anticipation to the crowd as to how it can be done against all odds.

As what keeps us centeredis finding that ‘BALANCE’ in our lives, she said “women are gifted with the ability to juggle different tasks at different times”. Inspiring the audience with an inquiring tendency, she stressed that we should never shy away from valuing our lives as someone who is worth and capable of contributing a lot to this world, as a family support as well as in our professions. At the center however of creating balance, remains developing our talent.

As an Architect, Tigist, tirelessly updated herself on different Softwares to develop her talent. Posing and reflecting on life are also part of her life experiences. Reflecting helps to understand that each event we pass through is on its own evident of our destination. There is a season to rise up and a season to fail, there is a season to learn and a season to achieve and a season to rest, and all that, is life.With a tone pleasant-sounding, she said “Women pass through different seasons and so, every bit,should be enjoyed”. Her Accomplishments, which constituted her oldest and latest projects, earned a warm round of applause from the audience.

Meskerem, with an intensive work experience as an Architect, has worked in different architectural projects and in many Regions in Ethiopia. After working in different projects, she became a freelancer, to form her own company after a couple of years. Her love for Architecture originates from the fact that it is creativity that will go down at a physical level and that for her, is identity. As that creativity takes on a physical level however, the designers are shadowed by it and go by unrecognized. Questioning who the designer of every building is whenever we see buildings we admire, she says, will help us recognize their efforts.

Though accomplished in her career, she had many challenges as a woman while working in a male dominated industry; the major one being, persuading her clients that she can do it even when they had a deeper fear that giving birth might be an obstacle to complete a work she will engage in. Audience was rather inspired to hear her follow up statement “challenges rather refine me”, which was accompanied with a smile. Through the trills, we are renewed and taken to what could ever be wished for. Through being doubted of our capacities as women, we are put in an opportunity of showing our worth, our strength, our ability to transcend; in that, we are refined, much better than when we started.

This inspiration goes to the young generation, which she says must gain a rich experience under a strong mentor before starting their own business. Gaining the practical experience, which would not have otherwise be gained from school. In producing a generation that achieves in life, she calls up on the seniors to give their time, share their experiences and serve as mentors.

Her very high accomplishments and proposed designs to clients were slide shown to the audience.

Rahel,with a poise visible,took the podium to express being honored to be at the event as the day Sep 4thcommemorated the day she started her own business in 2004; thus, acknowledging her presence as the celebration of that significant day of her life. The shared feeling of celebration was seen on the audience’s ovation.

Coming from a family of five, Rahel looks up to her Mother and Father as her role models who set path in life.

After spending 12 years of her career in partnering, she then took a differentpath in life when she opened her own company. Her company brings local and international stakeholders on board as it cascades towards its vision.

At the heart of her construction work lies local and natural materials such as Bambu, while her most pleasurable moments are in seeing started projects done successfully. Rahel, as one of the most prominent Architects in town, has received awards as a recognition for her accomplishments and is currently nominated for another, where she is the only female from the 16 nominated. The credit for her success goes to her husband, who is understanding and supportive, family members and staff.

Though her work is demanding and requires a lot of traveling, Rahel balances her life by resting well and giving time for the very deserving family.

In reflecting on the challenges she faces as a woman, in transcending the doubts that come from clients simply because of her sex, she said “I never gave them the opportunity to make me feel that I am a woman and so I can’t do it; though there were always tenders to make me feel otherwise, I lived above “their not believing in me”; she rises above their jocks and so never takes them so seriously. Spectators were amused by the strength and authenticity of Rahel, who silently chose to pursue her dreams against all odds.

As a concluding remark, the President (Seble) beautifully summarized their stories quoting“many people say if you are successful, you are either divorced or single but thank you for creating the balance between your family and profession; it so shows that it can be done.”

Most of the memorized audience stayed late, even after the closing of the programme, to commend the presenters for a courage hardly imaginable.

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