One of the great joys of working in an international company is the undeniable opportunity to meet people from different countries, continents with diverse cultures and share to share in their stories. I have been most privileged to meet and work with different type of people, women in particular over these 15 years of my working career in the oil and gas industry - I write that, noting it is one of the most polluting industries, which is facing a radical disruption and for its very survival has to adapt and do so quickly.
One of the brilliant and talented women I have worked with and now I consider as a dear friend is Nasreen Perween and this month's story is dedicated to her.
Nasreen is from Bihar in India and we first worked virtually on an Indian project in 2012, where she was the Principal process engineer in her entity for one of our company’s proprietary equipment/design and I had to coordinate and manage the activities between our 2 sister companies; Netherlands and India, for the project.
This was not my first time working with an Indian but was the first time working with an Indian female engineer who happened not to be based locally in the same operating office as I was. I soon discovered Nasreen’s creative and flexible abilities as she enthusiastically supported in making the work between both offices run as smoothly as she could. She was communicative, flexible and quickly raised issues and suggested possibilities to resolve them. I was most definitely impressed by Nasreen’s dedication and technical capabilities given that this was her first time to design such a unit. She bravely said yes to each and every request recommended by our senior process technologist in the Netherlands and despite the several challenges encountered on the project, we were successful at meeting the client’s requirement and secured a major project for our company, a success I would have to attribute to Nasreen’s unwavering commitment and hard work.
In 2013, Nasreen relocated from India as highly skilled migrant with her husband and son (who happens to be in same class as my son). She joined my operating office in the Netherlands. It was great to finally meet Nasreen and offered whatever support I could for her settlement in the Netherlands. There is quite an Indian community in my company and Nasreen made her acquittance with them, though majority are male, just like the overall make up of my engineering company.
Nasreen had expected working life in Europe to be of higher quality and standard, with women more empowered and in leadership roles, at least compared to India, she had hoped to settle in rather easily given that she had worked in the same company in India but unfortunately, Nasreen was in for some culture shock both in the company and country as a whole. She eventually made her way and realized herself as Nasreen Version 2.0.
Nasreen has captured a bit of her experience as a working mom in this LinkedIn article. She expresses how working and living in the Netherlands has shaped her story to reflect a version of herself she had not realized prior to her relocation.
Besides her engineering capabilities, Nasreen is a creative artist, whose work spark of pure brilliance. One of her art pieces was displayed at the Women4Women event and still available for purchase. Proceeds will go towards an orphanage dear to her heart which fits well with Ramadan, a time for fasting and charity, one that Nasreen is devoted to practicing.
I am glad that Nasreen will be part of UnikBlends women4women event: Sharing stories that Matter as her story reflects the story of many women. The struggles, hurdles, stress and yet the resilience to not settle but become transformed, to reflect your happy authentic self.