Story of our Portfolio Manager- Mrs. Jaza Naveed
Once rightly said by famous American Actress & TV presenter Ricki Lake ‘Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing’. It is the most beautiful feeling on earth to be a mother but certainly, this journey is full of challenges and I am sure every woman who has been through this journey understands very well what I am talking about. A mother makes ultimate sacrifices while giving birth to a baby, raising him/her, and guiding the kid towards the right path and this project continues forever. It won’t be wrong to say that being a mother is a perpetual job with no scope of time off. I think the reason women occupy the foremost place in society is because of their ability to give birth to the children and go through all hardships in raising them. This is what makes a mother a true synonym of endurance, valor, dedication, perseverance, and benevolence.
Ideally, every section of society must contribute to simplify this journey for women; however, the reality of the world we live in is quite daunting. The first thought which comes to the mind of every working woman across the globe when she gets pregnant is ‘Will I be fired from the job for taking maternity leaves?’ So, are women correct in their thinking? The data suggests their fear cannot be completely ruled out.
According to the 2021 Women, Business and the Law report released by The World Bank, 38 of 190 economies do not prohibit the dismissal of pregnant workers in their laws. Surprisingly, these 38 economies include the names of the world’s largest countries where almost half of the global women workforce lives. The report also reveals that discrimination and unlawful termination of pregnant workers remain pervasive practices around the world. A lack of protections like this makes it even harder for women to escape poverty and find stability. Thankfully, that is not the case with the United Arab Emirates. A vast amount of credit goes to the visionary leadership of the UAE for building the most women-friendly laws and the environment as well as to my employer Kaizen Asset Management Services for truly living up to the expectations and always going an extra mile to support every women employee in their journey to becoming a mother.
I am summarizing the ways in which Kaizen AMS has provided its valuable support to me throughout my journey of becoming a mother and did what it always does the best – ‘Creating Memorable Experiences’.
1. Leadership Support
As rightly said by – Angela Ahrendts (Former Apple Inc.’s top executive) ‘everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first’. Kaizen AMS’ leadership is indeed a pioneer in this art of building a personal touch with his employees. Personalization is just not Kaizen’s approach to dealing with the clients & residents but its employees as well. When I informed the top leadership about becoming a mother, they congratulated me and my family very warmly and sent me loads of gifts for the newborn to cherish and be a part of the occasion. Being a truly women-friendly organization with 47% of a female workforce, Kaizen AMS understands the challenges faced by women employees when they become mothers. I was offered an option for a flexible remote working post completion of my maternity leaves, till the time I feel comfortable working from the office. Like a visionary leader, Kaizen AMS’ CEO – Mr. Fadi Nwilati has proven time and time again that he is always happy to lend his helping hand whenever an employee needed his support.
2. Open Dialogue
As Kaizen AMS is managing a diverse workforce from over 20 countries for the last fifteen years, it truly understands that every female employee has unique expectations from the employer during the pregnancy phase. Thus, rather than assuming my expectations, as a formal practice, Kaizen set up an open dialogue with me to find out what types of support I need throughout the pregnancy phase. This provided me with an opportunity to communicate openly about my expectations and requirements to assist Talent & Human resource leadership in better designing my maternity leave plan and a flexible work option which most closely matched my needs and expectations.
3. Providing me the Access to the Best Medical Services
Expert advice is crucial for the women in avoiding many pitfalls during the pre & post-pregnancy phase which can lead to a grand fallacy. Timely & right doctors’ advice is one of the biggest supports women needs before, during, and post-pregnancy. Kaizen AMS’ Talent team provided me with access to world-class medical experts at the company’s expense to provide me with the best prenatal and postnatal care. Furthermore, as pregnancy affects all the health systems of the women, Kaizen provided me access to some of the leading nutritionists, dentists, and physiotherapists in Dubai to offer me the best care possible.
4. Mental & Emotional Support
A study titled ‘Pregnancy and Postpartum Disorders’ by Mental Health America reveals that over 80% of women experience mood swings often refer as ‘the baby blues’ post-pregnancy as a result of high hormonal fluctuations which occur during and immediately after childbirth. The symptoms last for a few weeks. In this situation, women experience mood swings or feelings of depression for more than two weeks after childbirth and it can be very serious if it persists for more than two weeks. This is the time when a woman needs maximum emotional support to overcome the feeling of anxiety and depression.
During this phase, Kaizen’s leadership and most importantly my team workers have played a decisive role and acted like my family members in providing emotional support. Some of the ways in which Kaizen offered me mental & emotional support includes – supportive interactions with coworkers before and after birth is critical, organizing online sessions & creating social opportunities to interact with the team members, and hosting online donut meetings with fellow Kaizeners to provide me with their valuable insights & tips on the best practices for the women after childbirth, hosting weekly zoom meetings to check on my health and maintain a form of connection with coworkers and supervisors so that I don’t feel left out.
This has been the summary of my memorable experience with Kaizen AMS. I found myself very fortunate to be a part of Kaizen where employees are not just only employees but a part of the ‘Kaizen Family’. Every Kaizener makes an earnest effort to help out the fellow coworker during the challenging phases of life and try to simplify their journey. I feel there is a lot global firms can learn from this blog on the expectations of pregnant women from their employers and how to support them while they are going through a pregnancy phase. This practice will not only have a profound impact on employee morale but will also empower the employers in being a part of the prestigious list of Female-Friendly Companies.