Maria Umar – Woman Entrepreneur

Maria Umar
During 1984, Nora Frenkiel coined the expression glass ceiling: "Women have attained a certain point — I entitle it the glass ceiling. They are in the peak of middle management and they are stopping & getting stuck."

"The glass ceiling is the capability to visualize getting to the top however not reaching there. In Pakistan for feminine entrepreneurs, you can neither see what it seems like nor aspire to be something you cannot visualize," Maria Umar says. "It is more of a cement ceiling here lest our in Pakistan."

Umar is demanding the cement ceiling as an worldwide entrepreneur and a key player in Pakistan's mushrooming tech scene. She is revered as one of the trailblazers in the female entrepreneurial rebellion, and focuses her efforts on additional work opportunities for female in Pakistan.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Umar was a permanent teacher. She gives up after her job declined her maternity leave and consequently started writing for a woman she found during, Pakistan's premiere job portal. The money was good — almost double what she earned as a teacher — but when Umar revealed her employer's oDesk profile, she comprehended she could make even more money through contracting with clients straight.

She set up her own oDesk account & began taking on further jobs and freelancing them. At first she provided the jobs to her nieces, then to their friends, and finally to their classmates, awaiting she realized that she had urbanized a small content-creation company.

Nowadays, this company is called ‘The Women's Digital League’, an IT-solution company that trains bucolic Pakistani women in micro online errands, from ghost-writing to SMM(Social Media Management).

Ovidiu Bujorean is the Senior Manager of the ‘GIST Initiative’, which supports private enterprise in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He met Umar after she won a GIST business plan competition, & recognized her ability straight away. He says of Umar, "She is extremely fervent and persistent. She is also very dedicated to her mission of helping feminine entrepreneurs find job facilities. Even if she strikes a wall, she will learn her way under, over or through that wall. As a womanly entrepreneur working in a male conquered IT-field, there is no scarcity of walls for Umar to burst through”.

Woman EntrepreneurThe challenges women face as trying to safe an education in Pakistan are important. Previous year, UNESCO reported that 62% of girls in Pakistan between 7 & 15 years old have never used time in a classroom. Aggression against girls pursuing an education has increased as the suspected Taliban attack against Malala Yousafzai in October of previous year.

But the country's education crisis is only the beginning of a bigger problem. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, only 14.3% of Pakistani female currently partakes in the labor force. Umar says, "Girls themselves are becoming more authorized and asking for their right to education. Regrettably not many actually utilize that education in the appropriate segment."

"Families dishearten girls from working outside due to the safety situation & lack of social acceptance."

Social media has played an essential role in helping WDL offer work-opportunities for female who otherwise may not be capable to work.

Umar discovers the majority of WDL freelancers during social media. She adds hashtags like #writerneeded, #homebasedwork, #jobopportunities & #pakistan to tweet advertising job facilities and receives a new CV almost day by day."There are women that I have known for the past 3 years, & very in timately during social media," says Umar, " through Facebook pages, through Twitter and yes, through LinkedIn also."

Umar guesses that more than eighty percent of her company's business comes during LinkedIn referrals, mainly because of the effort she is put into cultivating appreciative appraisals. She says, “I have never needed to have official website. When people come & ask me, ‘I have heard that you do this, how can we discover more about it?’ I just tell well, go to my LinkedIn page.”

Umar's leveraging of her LinkedIn referrals was amazing enough to catch the concentration of Alec Ross who is the former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He told, "The thought of a woman in one of the Waziristans working on an IT micro tasking is a very influential affirmation of the platform". Ross memorizes being hit by Umar's dedication to helping other women get work. "I firmly believe that we need to authorize women in the marketplace. There is so much insecurity brought on by mail. This woman was authorizing dozens of other female."

Umar recently proclaimed that she is expanding WDL into The Digital League, a company that offers digital solutions to corporate clients and individuals.
Share this article :