Challenges in Building a fulfilling career


The Geneva Hub hosted its first Meet the Leader session on 19 March. International Women’s Day inspired us to invite female leaders from different sectors and explore the “Challenges in Building a Fulfilling Career.” The event was an open discussion with three successful women of varied backgrounds that spoke about their personal and professional experiences.

The leaders included:

Elissa Golberg, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to Canada to the United Nations in Geneva. She has been working in the Canadian diplomatic service since 1996, working on a range of issues, including humanitarian affairs, and served as the Director General of Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force and as the Representative of Canada in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Taiba Raim, a teacher of Afghan origin, inspired by her father to improve access to quality education in Afghanistan. Ms Raim is highly motivated to improve the social and human conditions for her fellow citizens in Afghanistan. She is President of the Nai-Qala association that is building schools in Afghanistan to improve access to education.

Zohreh Tabatabai who built a career within the UN system and served as Director of Communications and Public Information at the International Labour Organization for almost ten years before starting her own PR and CRS company called Quince Partners.The discussion was focused on personal experiences from all three leaders ranging from making difficult family and career choices to how to deal with career pressures as a woman. The night was filled with inspiration and an insightful view into the lives of three very successful and diverse women.

Some of the key take-aways from the evening were: 

  • Women can have it all, but it is very difficult to have it all, all the time. At some point one element of life will be "limping"- be it career, relationship with your partner or your children.

  • The importance both mentorship and sponsorship: emphasis is often put on the importance of mentorship but equally important is sponsorship. The difference is that with sponsorship, the mentor uses his or her influence with senior executives to advocate for the mentee.

  • Pick a good life partner and make a choice on whether you want to have children.

  • It is important to work horizontally and not only vertically.

After a question and answer period, the session ended by carrying out a group activity of goal setting and sharing tips on goal achievement.

The event was held at the home of Atalanti Moquette.