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Location: Edinburgh
Date: September 14, 2020

On the 7th of September, Smart Works Edinburgh supporters gathered via Zoom to spend an evening with Ayesha Hazarika, an award-winning comedian, political advisor, broadcaster, and journalist. Funds raised from the event will go towards the cost of sending clothing parcels to women across Scotland.

Throughout the evening, Ayesha chatted with Smart Works Edinburgh manager Emma Jewson about her unique career trajectory, having confidence in male-dominated industries, and the need for more women in power.

About her struggle to find success as a minority in a male dominated workplace, Ayesha said: “I have found that looking the part is integral to your confidence. At the end of the day, all it comes down to is confidence and if that means faking it until you make it, then do just that. I believe that every woman working professionally has some variation of impostor syndrome. How you look and the image that you want to present is thus so critical for confidence, and a woman instilled with an unshakeable sense of confidence is a woman unstoppable.”

Ayesha commented that whilst being the most important factor for success in the workplace, confidence is no small thing to acquire, especially in the face of adversity. As a daughter to immigrant parents growing up in a small town outside of Glasgow, Ayesha learnt early on that as a young woman she would have to go above and beyond expectations to simply get to the same starting point as a man in the workplace. Through this challenging experience, Ayesha learnt that her obstacles didn’t define her, and instead, the way that she chose to respond to them did. “The more you tell yourself how capable, how intelligent, and how qualified you are, the more you will start to believe it. That is when you truly start to find success.”

When asked her main piece of career advice for Smart Works supporters and clients, Ayesha responded, “if you have even a kernel of an idea of something that you’ve always wanted to do – and if that feeling has stuck with you through the test of time – find a way to give it a go because amazing things could happen from it.”

We were thrilled at the chance to hear from Ayesha. For more of Ayesha’s work, you can find her on Twitter here.