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

Bill Cunningham, Beloved New York Times Fashion Photographer, Dies At 87

New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham died Saturday at the age of 87. New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet discusses his life and his nearly 40 years of work for the paper.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
WAMU 88.5

Analysis Of The Last Supreme Court Decisions Of The Term

Supreme Court decisions are expected soon on issues that include access to abortion and limits on executive power: Analysis of major decisions at the end of the term and the impact of a vacant seat on the court.

NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

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