WAMU 88.5 : News

Businesswomen From Pakistan Get D.C. Area Mentors

Play associated audio
Gisela Ghani, left, has mentored Maria Umar for the past two weeks here in D.C. They will continue the relationship when Umar returns to her business in Pakistan.
Courtney Collins
Gisela Ghani, left, has mentored Maria Umar for the past two weeks here in D.C. They will continue the relationship when Umar returns to her business in Pakistan.

Ten entrepreneurial women from Pakistan have spent the last few weeks working on their business education and establishing mentorships in the Washington metro area.

Maria Umar runs the Women's Digital League in Pakistan, a virtual assistance company that she built from the ground up two years ago. Unfortunately, she faces unique difficulties in Pakistan that women in the U.S. wouldn't dream of having to overcome.

"It's been a challenge to be taken seriously," she says. "It was like, 'It's just a hobby, it's just a phase and she'll get over it,'" Umar says.

But her company is much more than a hobby to Umar. Thanks to a program backed by the State Department and Goldman Sachs, Umar spent the last two weeks at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona and then came to D.C. to meet her mentor.

"It's something that all of have been dreaming of, to get trained in business, find mentors we could work with who could train us and literally take us along the way," she says.

Umar's mentor, Gisela Ghani, is the CEO of a consulting firm in Falls Church. She came to the U.S. from India in the '90's, and remembers the struggle of getting started in business.

"It's the mentors in my life who have got me to where I am right now and so I would really like to pay it forward and see if I could help anyone else," says Ghani.

Once Umar returns to Pakistan, Ghani will still check in with her at least once a month to see how her business is developing.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.