The Catch 22 Of Being A Female Boss

by: Deepshikha Punj

By Amira Geneid, CEO, Zahara

Running a business is no easy feat, but I’m definitely happy to see a rise in successful female entrepreneurs. Traditional society norms have made it difficult for us. The expectations of being a mother, or a wife while running a business may invite outsiders to question “how to do you achieve a work/life balance?”. It’s a harmless question. No doubt as a married, 25 year-old myself, I do like to take some time out of my day to unwind and find some peace of mind.

However, men don’t have to justify themselves. Generally speaking, men don’t face the same societal expectations and thus dont have the same pressures. Being a #LadyBoss isn’t just an Instagram hashtag to add on your feed. It comes with a huge responsibility to not only manage societal expectations, run an efficient business, but also a major factor which most employers tend to overlook which is ensuring your employee’s needs are met.

The Catch 22 Of Being A Female Boss

Zahara, Halal Cosmetics

I certainly am no expert and like with everything that comes with being a leader, I continue to learn and refine my techniques. The best method that I’ve found so far is open communication between my employees and I.

We are lucky to have a tight knit team. It makes communication a little bit easier. We always make sure to set aside time for communication, and my team knows that they can book out a time with me just to chat about the challenges they are facing or even anything personal they’d like to get off their chest. It is a practice that I am still refining and slowly figuring out how to better this flow.

Zahara is a luxury cosmetics line and we do our very best to provide top quality products to our consumers and especially to our Muslim sisters. I’m currently working on our latest collection of nail colours and it’s been an exciting process albeit exhausting. If it means that I have to stay in France and be in the factory every single day to ensure all our formulas are perfect, I will and have done so many times before.

It’s all about the details. Product manufacturing is probably the most tedious part of my job. This is when I will be away from the office most and I rely heavily on my team to be able to take care of everyday business functions. One of the most important factors of a healthy team, is to trust your team members to do a good job. This can only happen when you have a clear vision and are able to align your team members well to achieve it.

The Catch 22 Of Being A Female Boss

My biggest goal for Zahara is to become a world leader in our field. Specifically, I’d like Zahara to raise the benchmarks for halal beauty brands. Sometimes, you need to take a step back from all the moving parts of your business and think about why you chose this path. What was it that you felt you needed to change about the world today? How can you offer that change and motivate generations after you to carry forward with a movement that will survive after your time?

These are the core questions I keep close to my heart which makes me continue to work hard and deliver the best I can to help mold a future for women and women entrepreneurs to pursue the change they want to see in the world.

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Digital Imaging by: Fauzi Raisyuli