BY KHIRTINI K KUMARAN
Despite the large gender gap in the halal industry, the significant growth of the halal market worldwide offers excellent business opportunities for women, contributing to women’s economic empowerment.
LeadHership Academy CEO and founder, Saj Zafar, believes that the expectations of young Muslim women are set very low. “It is not because women lack potential or talent, but because we are bound and limited by culture and upbringing.
“ I’m super excited to hear that many women are participating in the Halal Expo Manchester,” said Saj.
“There are coaching sessions and panels organised at the Expo, which we should leverage. Listen to the women that have already made headway into the businesses in the halal industry, take those examples and be inspired.
“And I’m looking forward to meeting and building new networks and connections with strong, empowered women in the halal industry and businesses.”
Setting the pathway for women
The former forensic psychologist and prison governor has worked with women for about two decades.
“As my career progressed, I noted that I was the only woman and, more importantly, the only Asian and woman of colour in those spaces.
“I wanted to pave the way for other young women behind me, so I set up my own coaching business, LeadHership Academy.
“I was very mindful that despite the efforts by most organisations, women were still stagnant when it comes to promotions and progressions.”
According to Saj, while women recognise the importance of coaching, they struggle when it comes to investing in themselves. And women, she said, don’t do very well with networking.
“So, I wanted to make coaching easy, accessible and affordable. And I wanted to create an online platform as a safe space for professional women to join and start their journey.
“I chose the terminology LeadHership because I believe when women lead
themselves, as active participants in their life and career, they will progress and achieve more.”
LeadHership Academy works with organisations to help them become more culturally inclusive and coach women to get promoted and make good progress.
“The platform provides online webinars, masterclasses, and a private online community where you can engage with peer-to-peer mentoring, individual and group coaching. It’s a one-stop for all.”