Ashaba Faridah: Pilot, CEO Bambino Life Foundation and member of The Ninety Nines International Organisation Of women pilots
The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Ashaba Faridah to discuss the role of women in innovation. Get involved at She Innovates Global.
#SheInnovates Stories: Innovation is solving the world's problems. What problem are you solving?
Ashaba Faridah: My foundation promotes girl child education and empowerment, provides a better life for children living in orphanages, and also creates awareness about children living with disabilities.
Through the girl child program, we teach young girls in rural areas hands-on skills like making reusable pads, among other activities in boot camps. The aim is to promote sustainable communities that don't rely on donations to survive and help provide school materials needed for a better education. We also have programs that encourage young girls to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, We believe this gives them a chance to participate in the African STEM economy.
#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?
AF: When some of the girls who participated in our boot camps started up their own small scale businesses to support themselves. The foundation is all about empowering young girls to believe in themselves and also tap into their inner creative sides.
#SheInnovates: What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?
AF: As a woman in a male-dominated profession, I have to work twice as hard to prove myself, because as a woman, I am seen as weak and emotional and not smart enough to challenge my male counterparts.
#SheInnovates: What inspires you to love your work?
AF: Flying gives me a sense of freedom, far away from noise and congestion. Using my profession as a platform to inspire young girls to believe in themselves and follow their dreams gives me joy and happiness.
#SheInnovates: What do you hope that young women coming behind you take from your work?
AF: I want women to be proud of who they are and see themselves as capable of achieving anything they set their minds to.
#SheInnovates: Why are women in innovation important?
AF: They are needed because they are fresh and full of so much potential and capable of breaking barriers that have never been broken before.
Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.