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The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose
Hada Bejar

Women of the Future - Delegation to Malaysia

26 November 2016

In November 2016 Pinky lead a delegation of women to Malaysia for a week of inspiring activities and cultural exchange. During the trip Pinky also launched the Women of the Future Initiative in Malaysia.

Please see below the highlights from one of our delegates, Jaz Rabadia.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together – African Proverb

Pinky Lilani CBE DL, founder of the Women of the Future Programme and the brains behind the Asian Women of Achievement Awards joined forces with Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia to offer 18 women, all excelling in their respective fields a unique study tour experience in Malaysia.

Malaysia, often described as a cross road of trades and a cultural melting pot of opportunity boasts an incredibly diverse, dynamic and vibrant economy. Where for many years communities have coexisted in harmony, divides are now beginning to prevail. A perfect setting to understand the role that women are playing in society and highlight what more can be done to champion their contribution and value.

The perfectly orchestrated political, social and economic focused programme allowed the delegation to see Malaysia through multiple lenses, get a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of building a successful life there, particularly as a woman and appreciate the journey that so many different people have travelled.

From networking with the country’s most senior female judges, to seeing first-hand the number of children being denied a formal education, the trip opened our eyes to the disparity that still exists for many Malaysian ‘Women of the Future’. Having visited pioneering organisations, whose hopes for Malaysia’s growth and development were infectious, it was clear that through kindness and collaboration they were well placed to make a genuine difference to the women’s agenda.

Aside from being an incredible access all areas immersion into a beautiful country, spending a week away from our normal lives allowed us the welcomed opportunity to find time to Reflect, Reset and Reassess. Being surrounded by so many extraordinary women, all of whom are making waves in their fields, their communities and society at large was not just inspiring but also truly humbling. Hearing their stories, appreciating their personal challenges and celebrating their successes reignited a passion in me to do more, to be more and to give more; as a wife, a daughter, a friend and a professional. It served as a reminder that we are a community of sisters and it’s important that we pave an easier path for those that follow.

No matter where you are in the world, women issues are universal and as a Woman of the Future, I recognize that the future holds uncertainty, but also that I have the ability to change what is within my means and elevate the position of women within my personal and professional circles.

This has been an incredible personal and professional journey for me and I have left Malaysia with a sense of hope, drive and energy that I did not arrive with. The relationships I have forged have already helped to elevate my thinking and expand my network.

Having been exposed to such diverse network of senior women, I have gained a deeper understanding of myself; what drives me, what inspires me, what I have to offer the world and what more I can be doing.

I’m truly thankful for being a part of this incredible Women of the Future Network and feel incredibly privileged to have been invited to attend this unique and stimulating initiative.

The 17 other delegates and I went on an incredible journey, we went far and we went together.