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International Women's Day - Homaira's Story

  • Friday, March 8, 2024
  • Posted By Refugee Employability Programme
REP IWD Homaira Ghaznawi (Banner)

Since it was first celebrated over a century ago, International Women’s Day (IWD) has recognised the achievements of women across the globe, while simultaneously raising awareness of important issues facing them.  

This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion, and to mark the occasion, we spoke to Homaira, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tutor for the Refugee Employability Programme, which helps refugees into sustained employment through individually tailored support.

Homaira, who came to the UK from Afghanistan when she was ten years old, told us how she uses her own experience to encourage and inspire the women she meets in her role, helping them settle into life in Yorkshire and the Humber and reach their full potential. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current job role. 
My name is Homaira, and I am from Afghanistan. I am currently an ESOL Tutor at the Growth Company, working on the Refugee Employability Programme. My role involves working with refugees from a diverse range of backgrounds with the intention to help them acquire English skills, integrate into British society, and find work. This is a rewarding job as I get the chance to communicate with refugees and discover unique stories. I am fortunate enough to work with refugees across South Yorkshire and the Humber by delivering online and face-to-face ESOL sessions. We cover a range of topics from the very basics of English language to more specific employment related topics.  
How did you achieve the role you are in currently? 
I have a bachelor’s degree in education with a Masters in ESOL. I have qualified teaching status and plentiful work experience. During the last few weeks of completing my dissertation for my master’s degree, I applied for this role and was lucky to land this job! 
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #InspireInclusion, what does this mean to you? 
#InspireInclusion emphasises the celebration of diverse identities, experiences, and perspectives of women. It suggests that each person has the power to inspire positive change by fostering an inclusive mindset, challenging biases, and advocating for policies and practices that create a more inclusive and equitable world for women. 
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day? 
It is important to celebrate International Women’s Day as it allows us to acknowledge our achievements, resilience, and potential. It sends a powerful message that women's voices matter, and their contributions are essential for the progress and well-being of society. 
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them? 
Luckily, I have not yet faced any barriers in my career due to being a woman.  
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 
Men and women should have equal rights, and women can achieve whatever they want, just like men!  
How do you support women through your role at REP? 
As an ESOL tutor, I play an important role in inspiring refugees, specifically female refugees by empowering them to acquire the English language. I also aim to facilitate an inclusive learning environment through celebrating cultural diversity and building the confidence and leaderships skills of female refugees. 
What is the most important advice you would give to the women you meet through REP who are thinking about their careers?  
Nothing can stop you from achieving what you want. You need the right mindset and a supportive system that can guide you on your journey. REP is here to help you on your career journey! 
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important? 
A diverse workforce brings together individuals with unique perspectives and experiences. This then helps to bring more well-rounded and informed decision-making. Organisations that prioritise diversity, such as the Growth Company, can attract more service users and employees, and in turn enhance the company’s reputation.