Connect with us
Subscribe

HR Feminism

An Interview That Never Happened

Published

on

“Dr. Nihad Fottouh?”

“Yes!?”

“You have an interview today at 11 with Dr. Roland Bo…”

I couldn’t catch the man’s surname, looking at my watch, it was 10, “It is 10 already. I can’t be ready before 11.”

“This is the only available slot, otherwise you will have to wait for three months till the Dean is available again.”

“Sorry, I’m a little lost here, who are you?”

“Dr. Fottouh, please, you are losing precious time. I’m Soha, HR assistant for X University.”

“I haven’t applied there, how did you get my number?”

“We received your C.V. from Dr. Nevin, who has highly recommended you.”

“But I can’t come on time, I have a baby, which I need to feed before I leave and find a place to leave her, and it is not less than a 20-minute drive.”

“Dr. Fottouh, we are expecting you at 11. Thank you!”

The voice hung up, leaving me in an abyss, should I run to catch the interview or dismiss it?

I decided to go, why not? Let me try my luck!

I started to prepare my one year old daughter to leave home, but to where? I had no idea. Every relative and acquaintance is at least half an hour drive. I did not know what to wear? Formal? Semi-formal? I had no idea about the nature of the place and this Soha did not tell me, so I went for formal. I pulled the ready ironed suit, took the baby, its bag and left home. On my way out, I decided to leave the baby with my old neighbor, the interview probably won’t take long, as I imagined. I left her and took to the road. I was at the university’s gate at 11:20; I couldn’t have arrived earlier by any means. I reached Soha’s office – after calling her several times for on campus directions – at 11:40.

Soha received me with a face full of blame, as if she did not know why I was late. She even told all the other HR employees in the room about my tardiness. I was so embarrassed and angry; I wanted to yell at her “as if you don’t already know!” However, I silently waited in the armchair as instructed. I was given an application of four pages to fill, some other papers and then even more papers. An elegant lady entered from an attached room, announcing that Dr. Roland has left.

The urge to yell came back to me, what? After all that? I told you I’ll be late! And how come you did not call me beforehand to get ready? You HRs!

Furious, I looked up at that elegant lady. It was Shahy, a younger sister’s school-mate. How could she get that job, she was such a failure at school, she barely passed. I understood from the power in her voice that she managed the place. “Shahy how are? Do you remember me?”

She looked up with her serious face then smiled, “Of course I do, how are you, Nihad? I thought the name was familiar!” Then, “You missed your interview,” she said, wearing her serious face again.

I wanted to ask her how she got that job. I forgot all about blaming her assistant and all I was thinking about was how she had landed that job. No, really, how so, she looks very important and powerful. I felt so silly to have studied so hard for two years for a Masters and four more for a PhD. I never felt that powerful and important, let alone elegant. I’m always in a rush; doing something, studying, writing, teaching, correcting, or tending to the baby, I never look elegant -or even nice. I wonder what SHE studied!

“Dr Roland Bo…” I could not hear the name again, sucked up in my thoughts. For real, how did she get that job?

“Excuse me, what should I do now?”

I felt I had to respect her, after all, she had the man’s itinerary, with a word I may be able to meet him or go home to nurse my daughter.

“If you just wait for an hour, I can get you to meet him during his lunch time.”

“This would be very difficult, I left my baby…”

Before I got the chance to finish my sentence, she stood up in a rush, followed by her assistant, and ordering someone to bring me a Latte. I followed her procession till she disappeared. Once again, I missed asking her how she got that job.

After my first sip of Latte, the procession appeared again. She took her seat and announced, while going through some papers, “I’m sorry Nihad. I did my best, Dr. Roland Bo…” I was lost again, thinking how stupid I was to leave in such a rush and leave my baby at a stranger’s house, believing an HR employee.

Dr. Nihad Fottouh

Photography: Mahmoud Mansi

EDITORS: Mennat-Allah Yasser Zohny & Nada Adel Sobhi

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Articles

My first Work Abuse Experience was from another Woman! ~ Work Diaries

Published

on

Written
By: Dr. Hanan Abd El Moniem
Translated By: Mahmoud Mansi

In my early career, I was lucky to accidentally meet the CEO of the company I worked for in the elevator. I was excited because she was the first female to become a CEO in the Oil and Gas sector in Egypt. She wasn’t smiling as I was, and later on it was announced in the company that no one is allowed to use the elevator with the CEO! By the end of the week I was surprised to find myself transferred into another department and given responsibilities that were lower than my qualifications.

I spent 3 days suffering, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I understood from now on, that the management style was based on fear and authority, and in suppressing the ambitious people of the company so they can “know their limits”!

It is ironic that my first work abuse experience was from another woman, who was assigned as CEO in the first place to promote gender equality!

I refused the rules of the corporate where the strong people are the unfair or unethical, I had to establish my own powers, which were education and patience. That’s when I decided to invest more of my time in self-development, and focused on my education.

On the fourth day, I started my education journey in the American University in Cairo, and I chose to specialize in Quality. For me quality was not only about work, but it was about life, relationships, communication, and eventually in human resources, work-life balance and employee wellness.

I have learnt to always set to myself KPIs, my main KPIs were my self-development and empowerment, after I fulfilled that I moved to another KPI, which was training and developing 5000 employees working in the Oil and Gas sector across Egypt, and now I am fulfilling my third KPI, which is empowering others to ethically fight for their rights, to become more empathetic as well as intellectual, and mainly helping people to become more humane.

Discussed in 1st Arab Women Summit in North America: https://arabwomensummit.com/team/dr-hanan-abdelmoniem/

Continue Reading

Books

Book Review: “When Women Unite”, by Abir Yassin

Published

on

When Women Unite, a one act play, written by Mahmoud Mansi. I would totally say about this play that it is not written to everyone, in a way it is shocking, controversial, questionable, and debatable. And on the other hand I would recommend it to each and every one. It is an eye-opener, can’t put it down kind of books.  One can’t believe it is written by a man. The writer can totally get into women’s mind and their inner struggles regardless of their background and their beliefs.

What makes the play standout is mainly the dialogue.  While reading, you find your own words and thoughts been told through the characters, to the extent that some lines you act it out while reading.

Concerning the ideas discussed, in a way one can consider it shocking, and on the other way it is so real and deliberated on so many levels through many channels out there. The play has no red lines, it goes through politics and religion and all those areas that one can consider tabooed.

The title, “When Women Unite”, gives the right idea about the main theme of the play which is “women rights” shown through three different ladies, with various life style, minds and orientations. The setting of the play, a demonstration, gives the thoughts a lot of space to be exposed as a bomb. Gives the characters the opportunity to speak out their inner and hidden ideas, which all women on planet Earth has in their black box. The playwright opened that black box with no mercy.

The characters’ development is a little bit fast due to the timeline of the play where by the end they reach their liberty. They reached this freedom when they opened up to each other and expose their wounds to the air.

As a reader, I may tell that it is a great time consuming play to be read. I didn’t waste a minute reading it, a very successful experiment by the writer.

Link to Book on Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Women-Unite-Challenges-Movement-ebook/dp/B07TRNV45D/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1562758857&refinements=p_27%3AMahmoud+Mansi&s=digital-text&sr=1-2&text=Mahmoud+Mansi

Continue Reading

Articles

Book Review: When Women Unite, Review By Nesma Yassien

Published

on

About the Book

When Women Unite: A Play about Challenges facing the Modern Movement of Feminism and Gender Dialogue, written by Mahmoud Mansi.

The play is written about the movement of feminism, where women from different backgrounds were present in the same women’s rights protest. When they started talking about politics, relationships, religion, and feminism, they discovered that they were not on the same page. That’s mainly how the play starts and events progress.

Book Reviewer's Note

It took me roughly two hours to read the whole play. I will not lie when I say that I was a bit concerned to read a book about women written from a male (with an Eastern background) point of view. But I was surprised. I recommend including the play in universities with programs relevant to Women Studies Subject.

Book Review

I liked the choice of characters especially the Harem Slave and the Conservative housewife. Their character representation is very interesting and fresh. These characters are given a platform to voice their opinions which I believe are very anti-stereotypes. Those two specific characters  are either not well-represented in literature or are represented as passive, pathetic, and voiceless women. However, you managed to give them a new light by highlighting their multiple humane, feminine, and rebellious sides. For instance, people would never think that a conservative housewife and a Harem Slave would have such big ambitions that would eventually change society (which I believe is represented by the Enshrouded Man).

The first chapter does mirror our society’s mindset through the healthy argument/debate between the characters. The characters represent a variety of cultures, beliefs and background and that has made the play universal. 

The play is also timeless and this is evident in chapter two. Discrimination against women has existed ages ago. According to the author’s choice of the characters of Cleopatra and Harem Slave, the issue goes beyond the boundaries of time and space.

Moreover, the characterization of Cleopatra  is very clever. Cleopatra has been always portrayed in films and books in a negative light, but the author provided a whole new light to her personality by presenting her as Mother nature- a woman who has the venom and the cure. 

Cleopatra discusses the concept of Evilness in a new light. Her words reminded me of Fyodor Dostoyvesky’s idea of pain in Notes From The Underground; how important pain is to the body. According to the Protagonist, without the feeling of pain, no one would realize that the body is dying. The same applies to Evilness in the play. Evil is important to set things right too. Also pain is essential to save the whole body, and so is Evil; it demands us to cure society as a whole without discrimination. The cure is knowledge, confession and acceptance. 

The third chapter is fascinating. The characters reveal their past and the readers discover that they are more or less the same. All characters share things in common and they all experience a moment of epiphany after they confess and accept each others’ past.

We are all humans who sin and make wrong choices, but in order to become strong and to unite one should confront himself and accept and embrace her/his sins and wrong choices in life (same as when they confess and embrace each other). This is therapeutic. This is when they are truly free and equal. They all (including the Enshrouded Man) choose to make the right choice by following their passion regardless of how society would see them. This is When Women Unite.

Link to Book on Amazon.com:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Women-Unite-Challenges-Movement-ebook/dp/B07TRNV45D/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1562758857&refinements=p_27%3AMahmoud+Mansi&s=digital-text&sr=1-2&text=Mahmoud+Mansi

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Magazine3 days ago

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

“Continuous Learning, adopting innovation & creativity and teamwork are among the guiding principles of success and excellence in the government...

Civil Work5 days ago

مقابلة صحفية مع إيناس عبدالقادر – مهندسة نسيج ومتحدثة في مؤتمر تيدكس وادمدني بالسودان

صحافة: محمود منسي ثورة الموارد البشرية: إيناس لديك العديد من الخبرات في مجالات مختلفة، هل يمكن أن تعطينا نبذة عن...

Articles6 days ago

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Asiacell

“Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities...

Interviews6 days ago

Q&A with Germeen El Manadily; TV Presenter | Publisher | Digital Marketing Expert | TEDx Speaker

Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi “After the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world came to the realization that social media has a huge influence...

Interviews7 days ago

Interview with Stephanie Runyan, PHR, the Director of Learning for the HR Certification Institute

“HR professionals must be prepared for anything.  The roles of HR professionals continually change, there will be a continued need...

Interviews1 week ago

Q&A with Mahmoud Sami Ramadan – Digital Advertising Specialist, Dubai

Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi “I am going around and discovering and jumping from one field to another, to be able to...

Articles2 weeks ago

Qisaty Project & Developing Talent in Children with Special Needs in Egypt

Edited By: Mahmoud Mansi Qisaty Project – founded by Mona Lamloum – was launched on 26th December 2019 to support...

Articles3 weeks ago

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank Case

“Each institution’s culture is unique. Employee culture and corporate culture should create a common blend” Nomination: Stevie Internal Communication Bronze...

Civil Work4 weeks ago

Q&A with Sherihan Elkamash; Researcher at the Center of Strategic Studies, Bibliotheca Alexandrina & Charity Activist

Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi “I am always trying to not lead members, but inspire them and gain their trust by encouraging...

Articles4 weeks ago

Being a Certified L&D Manager – Middle Earth HR

Written By: Mahmoud Mansi Learning and Development (L&D) as a function and a department, has become a leading role in...

Categories

Trending