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Celebrating Inclusive & Supportive Environments for Women – Not Just on IWD, but Everyday!

We want to create environments where women are allowed to be themselves.

In line with this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’; we wish to showcase a particular woman who has inspired us all at Migration Downunder.

Meet Fahima

Recently, our Managing Director spoke with Fahima, an inspirational woman who has faced many challenges in the past twelve months.

As the International Women’s Day (IWD) organisation has stated, “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.”

When women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.  This is exactly what has happened with Fahima and to an extent to her two young daughters.

Fahima – with the assistance of her employer – migrated with her family to Australia in June 2023 on a permanent employer sponsored visa through the support of Migration Downunder and Talent Beyond Boundaries.  Luckily for Fahima, her company’s ethos  – where she works and who sponsored her – is based on fostering a culture of inclusion, embracing diversity, their people and employee engagement. Culture Amp put their trust in Fahima as a qualified Software Engineer to take up a permanent role within their team.

As a woman, migrating to Australia has changed not only Fahima’s life but also the lives of her two young daughters providing them opportunities (that we, in Australia can often take for granted), such as employment and an education.

Fahima and her family are forever grateful to Culture Amp, Talent Beyond Boundaries and Migration Downunder who collaborated together to provide a future of inclusivity and a sense of belonging here in Australia.

When we talk about long-term goals, Fahima is more focused and excited about the short-term goals that have already been achieved through the support of her company such as working full-time, having her two daughters attend pre-school and the freedom to be who she is and to be happy.

We posed the following questions to Fahima, for which she responded as follows:

As a woman, what has been your experience migrating to Australia?

“I am Fahima, a software engineer. As a software engineer, my experience migrating to Australia has been largely focused on pursuing opportunities in my field. And migrating to Australia has been an incredibly transformative experience for me and my family. While gender may bring unique perspectives and challenges to migration, I’ve found that Australia offers a welcoming environment for professionals in technology. I’ve been able to thrive in my career, benefitting from a diverse and inclusive work culture that values talent and innovation. While migration always presents its own set of adjustments, I’ve found Australia to be a place where my skills and contributions are appreciated regardless of gender.

Beyond the professional opportunities, the move has offered us a chance to embrace a new culture, broaden our perspectives, and provide a safer and more promising environment for our family’s future. While challenges inevitably accompany such a significant change, the warmth and support we’ve received from the Australian community have been invaluable. Overall, our migration to Australia has been a life-changing opportunity that we’re grateful for every day.”

What barriers or challenges have you faced as a female migrant migrating or living in Australia? And how have you overcome them?

“As a female migrant transitioning from Afghanistan to Australia, I encountered several challenges initially, including adapting to the community, finding housing, and navigating the Centrelink process. To overcome these obstacles, I relied on my resilience and resourcefulness, drawing upon the knowledge and experience I gained from my time in Afghanistan. And in adapting to new technologies and programming languages utilized by my company. Initially, this posed a significant hurdle as I grappled with unfamiliar systems and processes. However, through perseverance and determination, coupled with the unwavering support of my team, I diligently immersed myself in learning and mastering these technologies.
Overcoming these challenges was a testament to my resilience and commitment to excel in my field. The encouragement and assistance from my colleagues played a pivotal role in my journey, fostering a collaborative environment where I felt empowered to grow and thrive. As a result of my efforts and the collective support of my team, I am proud to say that I have received commendable feedback from both my manager and peers, acknowledging my valuable contributions and remarkable progress.

While the transition presented its share of obstacles, I view them as opportunities for personal and professional growth. By confronting these challenges head-on and leveraging the support network around me, I have not only expanded my skill set but also reaffirmed my belief in the power of perseverance and teamwork. My experience as a female migrant in Australia has reinforced my resilience and determination to overcome adversity, ultimately shaping me into a stronger and more capable professional.”

As we celebrate Fahima’s inclusion in Australia and in her workplace where she feels a real sense of inclusion; we acknowledge that many women from intersecting and diverse backgrounds continue to feel marginalised, not just during IWD but beyond.

Migration Downunder is led by a woman who employs inspiring women in an all-inclusive environment who band together to support and assist in changing the lives of many women around the world, providing them a pathway of empowerment to be who they are.

Remember, supporting women and promoting gender equality is not confined to just one day; it’s an ongoing commitment that requires dedication and action throughout the year.

 

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Published Thu 7 March 2024.

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