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Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, First Muslim In Canada To Hold Post

New Age Islam News Bureau

2 Jul 2020

• Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, First Muslim In Canada To Hold Post

• Edmonton Woman, Ravina Anand, Wins Prestigious Award in Honour Of Princess Diana

• "It’s Difficult for Women to Speak Up in Virtual Meetings"

• Nigerian Female Coaches Get Training From La Liga And NWFL

• Oklahoma Woman Shot While Trying to Remove Nazi Flag

• How Women Techies Can Thrive in a Post-COVID World

Compiled ByNew Age Islam News Bureau



Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, First Muslim In Canada To Hold Post

Jul 01, 2020

Salma Lakhani, who has been named as next lieutenant-governor of Alberta. NORQUEST COLLEGE/TWITTER


A community advocate and businessperson Salma Lakhani made history on Wednesday upon her appointment as the Lieutenant Governor of the province of Alberta, the first-ever Muslim with roots in the Indian subcontinent to occupy the post in Canada.

Her appointment was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Ms. Lakhani is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people, to women and families. As Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, I know she will serve the people of her province and our country well, and continue to be a source of inspiration for all Canadians,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

Lakhani, a follower of the Ismaili sect, was born in Uganda but her family was forced to leave after the Indian-origin community in the African country was expelled by dictator Idi Amin.

She has a degree in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Manchester. She later moved to Edmonton in 1977, along with her husband. They have two daughters.

A Lt Governor in Canada is the equivalent of a Governor in India and is nominated by the federal government. While the role is largely ceremonial, the appointment is symbolic of diversity in how leadership in the country looks.

Among those who welcomed her appointment was the Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, who tweeted, “Ms. Lakhani has a remarkable background in business and volunteerism, reflecting the Alberta culture of enterprise and community.”

The PMO noted she was a “long-time community advocate and successful business owner” who has dedicated herself to “helping people in need and those who face obstacles to success in our society. Through her work to advance education, health care, women’s empowerment, human rights, and support for new immigrants, she continues to be a champion of diversity, pluralism, and inclusion.”

She was a founding member of ‘NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities’ movement and has been on its advisory committee and board for the past decade. Lakhani is also associated with the Aga Khan Foundation.


Edmonton Woman, Ravina Anand, Wins Prestigious Award in Honour Of Princess Diana

July 1, 2020

Edmonton Woman, Ravina Anand


An Edmonton woman’s community work is being recognized by a foundation that honours the work of Princess Diana.

On Wednesday morning, Ravina Anand was awarded “The Diana Award” via virtual ceremony, which celebrates various young people’s social action or humanitarian work.

Anand was recognized in part for her work creating an online mentorship program for women called FLIK (Female Laboratory of Innovative Knowledge).

“By fostering meaningful relationships between female founders/leaders and ambitious female talent, we hope to inspire the next generation of women to pursue entrepreneurship,” said Anand.

“We are always looking for young people who identify a problem and find a solution,” Ojo said. “Princess Diana was always about how we can bring together a solution.”

As they uploaded interviews, other young people reached out and expressed they would love to spend a few minutes with these same women.

Young people do not work towards the Diana Award, rather they must demonstrate their suitability through their actions and receive the award retroactively.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t even know about [the award] prior to all of this,” said Anand. “It takes young people who aren’t doing anything for recognition but instead rewards their actions within their community.”


"It’s Difficult for Women to Speak Up in Virtual Meetings"

July 01, 2020

Women in Virtual Meetings, Photo:


I wish I could collect that proverbial nickel every time someone tells me that law firms, corporations and the world will be more egalitarian and inclusive because of COVID-19. I hear this from law firm partners, members of the C-suite and lowly, wistful associates. You’ve probably heard it too—that people are more reflective now, that they’re empathetic and that there’s a real hunger for change.

That sanguine view is reflected in a recent survey by nonprofit Catalyst, which finds that seven in 10 employees believe that COVID-19 will stimulate gender equity in the workplace. Moreover, eight in 10 business leaders believe the pandemic will eventually result in a more inclusive workplace for people of color. (The report, conducted in early June, surveyed 1,100 U.S. business leaders and employees.)

My, my, so much riding on the disruptive powers of COVID-19. I don’t doubt that it’s altered the way we work and live, but will this pandemic topple the white male patriarchy and usher forth a new era in which women and people of color share the power structure?

I’m not so hopeful. And, if you read between the lines, neither are the respondents in that Catalyst survey. It turns out that fewer than 41% of employees believe their workplaces are “fully committed to—and already taking steps to create—an inclusive workplace.”

Is your firm Mansfield Certified? What about your competitors? How does your firm compare? Which Legal Departments are supporting the Mansfield Rule? Access Legal Compass to see gender breakdowns of partners, associates, and other key law firm personnel, including side-by-side comparisons.

ViviaChen“We see a clear tension between optimism for a more inclusive and equitable workplace and skepticism that companies and business leaders will actually take the necessary steps to address disparities at the organizational level,” says Catalyst president and CEO Lorraine Hariton.

Management see things through rose-colored glasses. The report finds “business leaders (56%) are more likely to believe that their company is taking steps to enhance gender equity during this pandemic, as compared with employees (34%).” And leaders are “more likely to believe that working remotely has facilitated a more inclusive environment (56% vs. 28%).”

That said, female managers, in particular, might be displaying some wishful thinking. The report finds that 80% of female leaders (vs. 60% of their male counterparts) believe that for senior leaders, gender equity is more important now than before the onset of coronavirus. And for whatever reason, more female leaders trust their company to create a more inclusive workplace in the future (80% women vs. 75% men).

But beneath all that cheery talk, it’s clear women generally who are hitting some bumps at home and at work during the pandemic.

For instance, the report finds working women feel they still bear most of the responsibilities at home: While one in three men claim they’re doing more at home, “only 13% of women say that their male partner has taken more of the household chores.” Moreover, “women are twice as likely as men to be primarily responsible for homeschooling their children”—which, based on my reporting, is a major tension spot for female lawyers in their relationships.

And on the work front, those Zoom meetings are not helping women. An astounding 45% of female leaders attest that “it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings,” an observation agreed to by 42% of male leaders. And one in five women reports feeling “ignored and overlooked by coworkers during video calls,” and another one in five employees report witnessing more discrimination at work since the outbreak of the pandemic.

I must say I’m not at all surprised that men are again dominating those video calls. Though I had reported during the early days of the pandemic that folks were mindful of giving each other equal air time, Zoom etiquette seems to be withering away. Lately, I’m hearing that those alpha males are back, and women are again sidelined.

Not that women aren’t trying to assert themselves. It’s just that they’re not hoggers. “We tend to make our point and shut up,” says a senior lawyer at a bank about her Zoom meetings. “Whereas the guys will go on and on. They love to hear themselves talk and talk and talk.”


Nigerian female coaches get training from La Liga and NWFL

July 1, 2020

In partnership with the Nigerian Women Football League several coaches were selected for the Spanish topflight’s women’s football coaching methodology


Some female coaches in Nigeria received some training at two masterclass sessions provided by the partnership of La Liga and Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL).

Since they launched their Nigerian office in 2016, La Liga have partnered with football bodies for some initiative around developing local football.

These sessions consist of some adapted and selected content that is part of a new comprehensive programme developed by LaLiga, called “LaLiga Women’s Football Coaching Methodology”.

The original programme consists of a series of in-person courses organised into different levels of complexity, from the grassroots to the elite, focused on the specialties of women's football.

In this way, LaLiga has gone one step further by innovating and developing a unique training programme of its kind aimed at coaches and focused on women's football.

“At LaLiga, we are extremely happy about the success of this first edition of the online masterclasses. NWFL is one of our key partners in Nigeria and, activating the MoU between both entities, was one of our priorities for this season," LaLiga Delegate in Nigeria, Guillermo Pérez said.

"The fact that Nigeria was the first country in which we’ve trained through this new format and methodology, proves how important Nigeria is in LaLiga’s international development and how committed we are to the local football development. We hope this will be the first activation of many more to come with NWFL."

Chairperson of the NWFL Aisha Falode said the body which she leads has'identified common grounds' with La Liga in their goals and vision for the future.

"Though a lot of work has gone into the activation points of the MOU in the last few months, the training- the- trainers programme is the first engagement entry point into many more activations to come within the scope of our MOU.

"Our goal here at the NWFL is simple and direct and it aligns with LaLiga's, 'to be a global league brand and among the best women leagues in the world'."

LaLiga and the NWFL signed a memorandum of understanding in 2018 to bolster sustainable development and growth of women football in Nigeria by promoting gender equality in sports, through the integration of women in football while encouraging access to sports management, education and the development of CSR activities.


Oklahoma woman shot while trying to remove Nazi flag

1 July 2020

A US woman has been shot while trying to remove a Nazi flag from someone's front yard in the state of Oklahoma.

Garfield County Sheriff's office said the woman had been at a party nearby when she took one of two flags being flown outside Alexander Feaster's home.

Sherriff Jody Helm said the woman was found lying in a ditch with four gunshot wounds after deputies responded to a call early on Sunday morning.

Sherriff Helm initially suggested the woman had tried to steal the swastika-emblazoned flag for a dare, but in an interview with NBC News she said there was "conflicting information" surrounding the woman's motive.

An affidavit seen by NBC News says "several" cameras at Mr Feaster's home show he fired on the woman "without warning". A neighbour then moved a red pickup truck near the home to serve as a barricade, and a witness trained a rifle on the property as a precaution while waiting for deputies to arrive.

Mr Feaster was later taken into custody without incident. He has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and shooting with intent to kill, and is due to appear in court on 9 July.

A neighbour told local radio KFOR that he had been flying the flags for around a year, and they had been snatched from his home a few times in the past. They added that he would occasionally dress up in black uniform with a red swastika armband - an outfit reminiscent of Nazi SS uniforms. But he was said to mostly keep to himself.

Another woman and friend of the victim said there had been "no problems" with Mr Feaster before, but that his flags were a cause for concern.

"I feel like these flags are a disaster waiting to happen," she told the Enid News and Eagle


How Women Techies Can Thrive in a Post-COVID World

2 July 2020

Breaking the glass ceiling has long been a goal for women professionals in the technology sector. But lack of flexible working policy and indifference of senior management often dissuade them from securing a place in the boardroom, despite studies showing time and again that women have proven themselves to be capable leaders all over the planet. The COVID-19 era that is disrupting every industry and individual across the world may change that. Experts believe with work from home (WFH) becoming the new normal now, the pandemic in some ways, can create new and exciting opportunities, especially, for women in technology.

Currently, there are only 26% of women in engineering roles in India and only 7% of women manage to reach the C-suite level. The Belong Survey shows that flexibility, backed by strong senior management support draws more women, and retains them, in the workplace, especially in the senior positions. The WFH policy during the lockdown is only paving the way for women techies to eye a better career pitch.

Bhuvaneswari Natarajan, Senior Director, Corporate Quality, CSS Corp, believes WFH has brought forth endless possibilities, especially for women who are planning to get back to work after a career break. “The flexibility that remote working brings has allowed women to balance their work and life better with increased collaboration from the other family members. It can not only help women upskill themselves but also be a part of conversations that were earlier dominated by men,” she says.

Several tech companies are open to hiring remote workers on full-time payroll, which was not the case even a year ago. In fact, in the present scenario, WFH is proving to be more productive and a lot of companies are planning to adopt a wider use of this model even after COVID-19. This opens up the market for diverse tech talent, where companies look for talent in locations where they don’t have a physical office.

Women with skills in emerging technologies can bank upon this opportunity to restart their IT career, believes Sindhu Gangadharan – Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP, who opines that WFH will benefit both male and female employees, as it decouples them from a specific location.

“It certainly will be a boon to many women employees, who were forced to ‘pause’ their career due to family compulsions, as they now can balance both work and family more effectively. It also will give women more options to choose jobs from different locations, without having to uproot their family and social circles,” she says.

Pooja Subramanian, Technology Principal at ThoughtWorks, agrees  that WFH or remote work will eliminate a lot of restrictions like travel time and enable flexible work schedules for people who can benefit from it – say women with kids or elderly people to take care of or women who have relocated because of family.

However, Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital, cautions that despite opening up a new window of opportunities, WFH brings with it both blessings and challenges. She believes, it requires more planning, dedicated (even if small) workspace, and managing other responsibilities. The industry should quickly find ways to utilize this opportunity and build functional models to draw the balance between availability of technical skills and their utilization.

While the lockdown and the ensuring WFH policy is changing the way employers are hiring resources, experts believe that diversity is a deep rooted problem that needs a long term strategy to reduce tech’s gender gap. For example, Vaidhyanathan believes, “it all needs to start at the top with more board roles being open for women.”

Agrees Natarajan who emphasized that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment will go a long way in creating more opportunities for women and fostering sponsorships to not only retain but also advance women to pursue their career goals.

As SupriaDhanda, VP and Country Manager, Western Digital India, believes, “To make diversity in technology work for the long term, the entire stream of talent needs to be reviewed and rightly invested, right from encouraging girl students to take up engineering disciplines to organizations investing in hiring, developing, mentoring, and promoting women in technology and business and focus on how they stay with the organizations for the long term.” 

While organization’s flexible work policy is the key, Gangadharan suggests women techies to have an open mind, participate in opportunities that come their way, and ensure that learning never stops in order to thrive in a post-COVID world.

“A shift of mindset is required where the organization and family play a crucial role in encouraging women in technology to pursue their passion,” says Subramanian, who believes it’s imperative for organizations to support these ambitious techies with the right policies, culture and flexibility that will cultivate more women leaders.



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