Businesswomen From Pakistan Get D.C. Area Mentors | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
WAMU 88.5

Abortion Is Back In The Spotlight In Virginia

The state's current attorney general is overturning a ruling from the previous attorney general that would have shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state, and the issue isn't just about regulations and politics. It's also about money.
NPR

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

If someone is infected by the Loa loa worm, taking a drug to treat river blindness could be risky. Now there's a fast way to identify the worm — by turning a smartphone into a microscope.

Leave a Comment

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