MGirl Co., MENDAKI Club 's women's chapter held our inaugural Chick Chats session, which centred around the theme of navigating workplaces as Malay/Muslim women. We've not seen much of these sort of gatherings taking place - so definitely an exciting one for us to hold! When we launched the chapter, we conducted surveys and focus group discussions, which pointed strongly to the need of having spaces for Malay/Muslim women to discuss how we can own our professional growth and seize opportunities while accounting for the difficulties that come with being a minority both in terms of race and gender.
As such, we framed the Chick Chats session across the four topics below, each helmed by an esteemed speaker and facilitator who have underwent very unique professional and personal journeys themselves, which are undoubtedly sources of inspiration for our participants:
Navigating workplaces as a Malay/Muslim woman
Positive self-talk for confidence and to avoid self-sabotage
Confronting hiring biases / practices
Balancing career growth and familial expectations
After a very thoughtful and resonating speech by our guest-of-honour, Sim Khadijah , these four themes were discussed in a panel discussion. Subsequently, participants went into their breakout groups where they could interact directly with each other and the speakers to discuss how various challenges can be navigated. This format honours one of the things we set out to do at MGirl Co., which is to level out the avenues in which our panellists and participants are able to interact.
Having moderated the panel myself, I found that the inputs provided by the speakers not only gave hope and inspiration to the ladies in attendance, but also provided a great deal of clarity as to the steps that can be taken. This segued into exciting conversations in the breakout sessions - time passed by too quickly!
Personally for me, the greatest takeaways were that us standing out is a fact, and we should honour the things that make us different. What it means to be a Malay/Muslim woman of today has definitely evolved from before - some facets of our identity have moved with time, while for other facets, we are still reconciling with matters of traditional perception. This would vary for each of us - which is the beauty of such get-togethers because we can find support in areas of need, and provide inspiration in other areas where we feel more settled.
We look forward to holding more of such spaces in the future. Do follow us on instagram @mgirl_co to be the first to receive updates!
Want to extend gratitude to those who made this night one full of power. This would not have been possible without our