Women in business: Basma Ashry, general manager, BIZ shares why having women in leadership roles is important

As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, tell us how women are trailblazing their way to the top of the corporate ladder.

I believe it all starts with your mindset and embracing a winning mentality. Women are recognising their power, claiming their space and working hard to get where they want to be. They’re not afraid to speak up, and they don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to them. It’s amazing how far you can go when you think big, and believe in yourself and your work.

Having women in visible, leading positions is so important, as it’s encouraging and empowering for young women starting out in their careers. It’s down to us to set an example, show up, share our stories and encourage others to step out. I believe in building supportive networks with other women, providing career advice or mentorships and advocating for more women in business. That’s exactly why I’m so proud to be doing what I do at Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ).

Tell us about your own journey as an entrepreneur. What have been your key learnings along the way?

I started my career in telecommunications and then moved to banking, but I’ve always had bigger aspirations to help people with their businesses in any way possible. Today, I head one of Dubai’s leading business setup companies thanks to the experience I’ve gathered over a decade.

The main thing I’ve learned in my journey is you’ve to believe in yourself, your idea and your vision. Congratulate yourself on your wins, but also be prepared to fail. Failure allows us to learn from our mistakes and keep growing. And finally, give back where you can. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping people and watching them flourish, that’s what drives me every single day.

What I’m truly passionate about is advocating for young women to be more ambitious and aim higher so they can reach their full potential. My happiness lies in helping people launch their entrepreneurial careers, and during my time with BIZ, I’ve assisted multiple clients in successfully achieving this goal.

Our company is all about supporting new beginnings; we pride ourselves on giving our clients the best possible start to their business. We support entrepreneurs through every stage of their business. Not every person and business can fit into a one-size-fits-all plan, so we make sure we’re very personal in our approach.  Once our clients are fully set up, we like to be there for them if they need any additional help, whether that be marketing, e-commerce solutions or other consultancy services.

What are some of the main challenges that women face in the workplace?

The gender pay gap is still a huge issue. Women are not earning as much as their male counterparts, and don’t feel confident enough to ask for pay rises. They often feel they’re not being taken seriously or aren’t being given the same opportunities as men. This plays into the imposter syndrome a lot of women unfortunately experience. I recently came across a study that showed women will only apply for a job if they meet 100 per cent of the job description, men on the other hand, will apply even if they meet 60 per cent. This is why I feel so strongly about a creating a supportive and inclusive space for women. There are so many challenges that women face in the workplace, even though it’s 2022. We’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to go.

What are the opportunities available to women to become successful entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship truly is the path to leadership and today, it’s easier than ever for women to launch their own successful businesses. Women can be empowered to be their own boss, pay their own salary, work the hours they choose and create the work-life balance they want. Being an entrepreneur also gives women the chance to collaborate with or hire other women.

To make the best of these opportunities, women can hone their knowledge and skills through courses or a business degree and have a crystal clear vision when it comes to their business. I also suggest cultivating relationships with people who will challenge, motivate, inspire and support you, be it your friends, colleagues, mentors or us, at BIZ.

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