From juggling a professional life with motherhood, to combating gender stereotypes and the 'glass ceiling', women in the workplace have always faced countless obstacles – none more so than in Egypt.
With the aim of empowering and inspiring Egyptian women to prosper in the professional life, Rise of Her is a woman-centred event, bringing together successful female entrepreneurs from different fields under one roof.
Taking place on Saturday 6th of February at the Greater Cairo Library in Zamalek Palace, Rise of Her is an all-day extravaganza of sorts, featuring workshops, roundtable discussions, case studies and presentations, with some of the country's most professionally successful and daring sharing their stories with attendees.
Ahead of what is shaping up to be a day that is as important as it is eventful, we sat down with a few of the featured Rise of Her speakers, whose inspiring stories are vital to the event.
Believing that one can achieve anything they want at any point and that age is never a constraint, Omneya Habaka is one such figure, having taken a leap of faith at the age of 48 when she left her secure job at the Embassy of South Africa to pursue her passion in human development.
Inspired by what she came to know about the role of women in South Africa, Habaka studied psychology, human resources and life coaching as she embarked on a new chapter of her life.
"It is never too late to do something new as long as you are still breathing," Habaka told us enthusiastically.
After becoming certified in the fields of life coaching, career development and career training, Habaka started her own company, Persona Career Development and Coaching, to support both individuals and businesses in achieving their own vision of success.
Ex-banker and mother of two, Yasmine Ebeid, took a similar, though arguably bolder, step in quitting her corporate job to pursue her passion of becoming a professional make-up artist. After earning a makeup diploma from the UK, Ebeid came back with the hope of establishing her own makeup business; only with this particular field already prospering in Cairo, the road wasn't all easy.
Ebeid was not daunted by the competition, nevertheless. For her, the diversity of the field is what makes the challenge worthwhile.
"Every make-up artist has her own unique way. Professional makeup artists should work with whatever budget they have without jeopardizing the final look or lessening the quality of the materials used," Ebeid told us.
Former child speech therapist, Reham Hegazy, went against the tide, too, when she decided to follow photography as a profession. After studying photography, Hegazy launched PROPS photography , where she photographs children, pregnant women and women of different shapes and sizes.
"My work aims to project the real beauty of women that lies within and far beyond the looks," Hegazy said, adding that she is determined to show that all women are beautiful in their own way.
Among the other examples, Heba Adel's new career choice is possibly one of the most abstract – but that didn't stop her. Convinced that adults need to channel their stress in something that is beneficial which can also increase their mental clarity, Adel founded Color Land, which, as the name suggests, produces colouring books for adults, with two books, Color Me Calm and Color Me Happy, doing remarkably well.
"Colouring has proved to be a great stress reliever," she explained. "We offer clients the chance to take the pattern they coloured and transform it to a wooden tableau to hang on their walls."
Yasmine Al Marakby is another who left a secure job, as she chose to follow a career as a wedding photographer. Working with self-taught techniques several courses and classes, Al Marakby started her own business two years ago for weddings and fashion photography.
Capitalizing on the experience and stories of women in the workforce, Rise of Her is one of Cairo's most anticipated events; one that promises to inspire.
For more information on Rise of Her, click here.