When entering the facilities of ISIS Organic, SEKEMs company for Organic food and beverages, you will find, most probably, a confident, active and smiling woman around. This is Boshra Elwan, Quality Control Manager at ISIS Organic. “I was 24 years old when I started my career at SEKEM”, tells the executive, who is working full-time, even she is mother of small kid. “My job takes the biggest part in my life. But I love it.”
The today 42-years-old started working in SEKEM just after her graduation from the Science Department at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. First, Boshra Elwan was hired as a Quality Control Specialist at the phytochemical laboratory of ATOS Pharma, SEKEMs company for phytopharmaceuticals. Eight years later, she became involved to the Quality Assurance Department of ATOS while teaching students at SEKEM school in geology at the same time. “In 2009, I joint the food processing operations at ISIS Organic”, Boshra tells. “These five years had a great impact on me as I gained a wide range of experience that finally brought me to the herbal section of ISIS Organic”, says Boshra, who is now one of the executive managers behind ISIS Organic, the market leader for herbal teas in Egypt. A major responsibility for the ambitious SEKEM co-worker.
Within the context of SEKEMs holistic development approach, it also matters of course that SEKEMs most successful company ISIS Organic invests in a comprehensive development strategy, for instance through different trainings and continuos education; benefits that Boshra Elwan appreciates and always attends highly motivated. Accordingly, she participated for instance the HACCP-training provided recently by SEKEM to co-workers, who are engaged to the food processing. “My job is to control the hazards, which are always expected within the processing operation. It is a huge responsibility to maintain the high quality of ISIS Organic products to maintain and enhance the trusted quality and good reputation”, the mindful Quality Manager reveals. “Such trainings increase my confidence and help me to overcome challenges.”
The cheerful woman experienced also moments in SEKEM with a great meaning for her private life. She met her husband during her work at ATOS. “We had been colleagues for eight years. He taught me everything there”, she tells, with eyes full of love. In 2007 Boshra and Hassan got married and eight years ago they got a son. “Sometimes it is really difficult to be a mother while having a full-time job”, the successful manager reveals. “I don’t have enough time for my son as I am working all day and come back late in the evening. But I hope that I can teach him what’s right and what’s wrong and encourage him to give always the best in his life, like I try to do it as well.” From Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish Boshra learned that creativity and development requires freedom. “Therefore, I will not interfere in my son’s life decisions. I just wish that he will be happy with his own choices.”
Boshra Elwan believes in the need for a gender balanced society. She was one of the pioneering female co-workers in SEKEM continuing working after she became mother. As a longstanding SEKEM employee, she witnessed the development of SEKEMs Gender Strategy for a Balanced Society. “It is great to see that SEKEM is taking action to encourage women to build their career”, she tells enthusiastically. “The number of my female colleagues is increasing since there are a lot of activities done to raise awareness about the meaning of gender equality. This has a great impact to my daily working life.”
However, Boshra is not directly searching for friends among her new colleagues but more about professionalism that enables her to develop in her job as well as personally. “My first priority is to do my job with knowledge and responsibility. Like this I can provide my son with a good living standards and also be a good example for him, which might form his character”, reveals the strong and friendly SEKEM co-worker.
Noha Hussein/Christine Arlt
SEKEM Gender Strategy for a Balanced Society
Read about the Launching Event of SEKEMs Gender Strategy