GSA Hot Topics | IWD With Farah Mohamed

March 3, 2015
Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held over 100 years ago in 1911. Thousands of events take place around the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. All around the world, IWD represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. This years theme is Make It Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. Throughout this week leading up to IWD, we will be featuring some of our inspiring female speakers on our GSABlog. Today we feature Farah Mohamed, Social Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of G(irls)20. GSA-Divider

Farah-Mohamed-2What does ‘Making it Happen’ mean to you and how have you implemented it in your career to date?

Making it happen is like any other platitude unless you back it up. And backing it up means taking risks, believing in yourself, and working hard. It also means knowing when to lead and when to follow.

Gender-specific challenges you’ve faced in your chosen career?

I see my gender as an ace – women are amazing – strong, resilient, innovative, the list goes on. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges – when G(irls)20 first started to raise the issue of female labour force participation as a key to economic growth we were the first, if not only global social enterprise to make this point. Now, everyone from Prime Minister Abe, Christiane Lagarde, the World Economic Forum and World Bank and countless others are talking about it.

Woman you’d like to thank but never had the chance?

Although we don’t share the same politics I would thank Margaret Thatcher – she took a lot of crap so that women today are taken more seriously in politics.

What advice would you give a young female in your industry today?

Take pride in what you do, do it with passion and if you need inspiration and can’t imagine taking a risk take a look at what Malala has done – one girl can indeed make a difference.

Who was your female role model & why/how did they empower you?

Wonder Woman and my mom. They both save lives and look great doing it.

What change in societies approach to gender equality are you most proud of?

We are not there yet but I am encouraged by the move toward eradicating the practice of early force marriage. There is absolutely no reason why an 11 year old girl should be forced to marry. No reason whatsoever..

What is the biggest issue facing women in your industry today?

There is not just one issue – they are all connected. Education, economic independence, to live in a safe and clean environment, to have independence of thought and action and in some places, to have mobility. I find it impossible to choose just one. GSA-Divider For more on Farah, and how she can inspire your audience check out her Speaker Profile. Other Speakers featured in our Hot Topics: International Women’s Day Include: