Rumaitha Al Busaidi: Communications Manager, Aquaculturist, and Radio Presenter
The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Rumaitha Al Busaidi 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?
Rumaitha Al Busaidi: Sustainable food production. My concept is focused on the integrated aquaculture model, adapted to the local conditions in Oman. This allows water to be 99% recirculated, allowing the water to be used for growing fish, and re-used as fertilizer for growing commercially viable vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce.
#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?
RAB: The moment my grandfather said, “This needs to be taken to the highest level of government possible.”
#SheInnovates: What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?
RAB: Being in a male-dominated society, many of the obstacles came about due to my age and gender. I had to push through every stakeholder meeting to have my voice heard. Once that was done, everything else seemed to fall into place.
#SheInnovates: What inspires you to love your work?
RAB: The ability to transform the agricultural landscape and have more young people, especially young women, involved in an industry assumed to be very traditional and old-fashioned.
#SheInnovates: What do you hope that young women coming behind you take from your work?
RAB: Perseverance is key; women can do whatever they set their minds to do. Don’t ever let someone, whomever they are to you, define your role or what you can and can’t do!
#SheInnovates: Why are women in innovation important?
RAB: We live in a community where women shattering glass ceilings is crucial. In a day and age when a woman’s way of innovating is not seen as part of the innovation economy, we need to stand together, and support more of us to join hands, and embrace these missed opportunities. We no longer want to be known as the invisible contributors.
Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.