Believe in yourself and start your own business and spread your knowledge through that, and make the change!
First of all, we would like to know you? When did you graduate from this department? Where do you work now, what is your job and your responsible field?
My name is Hanieh Vahabi and I graduated in 2017. I’m Co-founder and the CEO of two companies: Codotrix AB, and Call EchoSystem AB based in Gothenburg. Codotrix is a multinational professional firm, and Call EchoSystem is a tech company developing A.I. (artificial intelligence). I am also a business mentor helping other businesses to grow.
How do you use your theoretical and practical knowledge and experience gained in this department for your career life? Do you have any practical disadvantages for being familiarized with gendering practices theoretically?
In this program, I gained deep knowledge about different issues from different disciplines of social science. This becomes an advantage for me to be able to bring my theoretical and practical knowledge of my studies into my companies as well as other companies I work with. Of course, I am at an advantage since I have the better understanding of what is going on in the society in general and in smaller society inside the organizations around gender issues, discrimination, racism, and how managers and team members are responding to these issues, what techniques can be used to manage all these and how can we raise the awareness. The impact of studying this program has been huge on me and it can be seen at different levels in my work life; from replacing “chairman of the board” to “chairperson of the board” in legal documents of my companies to the bigger changes in shaping the companies’ team.
Do you have a project that you work with regarding gender studies in your institution? If so, what kind of contribution will this project have on gender studies in general?
One of the issues I emphasize both for my companies and other companies I work with, is the importance of having diversity in team-building and shaping organization. Also, through consultation and workshops, I train companies how to bring diversity to their teams and organizations and how to manage diversity and get the most out of differences. Of course, in my business life, this is the most visible part that shows how I use my knowledge gained from the program, but there are several other issues of equality, gender, power relations, social and cultural norms that I am aware and use in practice.
Maybe It will be a very specific question, but did you make your dreams come true with this program? Do you think that the program contributed enough and improved you and your skills?
Although the program had some problems in terms of content and some practicalities when I was studying, it opened up many new insights of social science for me and it was definitely had a great impact on me. In my entrepreneurial life, I have many plans to fill in the gap between academia and the society outside.
What is your recommendation to those who want to choose this master and those who are studying at the moment?
I congratulate them on choosing this master program! There are lots of interesting topics in this program to be learned and discussed, they should use this opportunity to enhance their knowledge, but do not forget that the society outside of academia is not familiar with many of these important issues and it is our responsibility to do that! Still, feminism is a dirty word, diversity is limited to gender, whiteness is silenced and many other issues that we need to contribute to raise the awareness and take steps toward change!
The gap between academia and industry also had led to limited job opportunities gender studies students, and this should not make the students disappointed. They need to create the opportunities through raising the awareness of existing issues that industry needs to know to improve their workplace.
Is there a message or thought you would like to add?
- Believe in yourself and start your own business and spread your knowledge through that, and make the change.
- Do networking and build up your relationship with different industries to find your favorite position for an internship in the second year of your studies and hopefully, it led you to your dream job.
- As I also suggested to the board of gendering practices, try to invite people from different industries to your seminars. This will help both parties to understand the needs, and communicate the subjects.