Interview Of Dr. Sadia Nadeem

Dr. Sadia Nadeem is currently the Head of FAST School of Business, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan. She joined FAST as an Associate Professor in 2007. She began her professional career as an electronic engineer in Pakistan and then moved to London where she studied and worked for 13 years. She holds an MBA and a PhD in Management from Cass Business School, City University, London, UK.

Dr. Nadeem has carried out research and consultancy work in large private and public sector organisations. She has over a decade of experience in the field of HR, and has presented her work at many national and international conferences. In the UK, her primary areas of research were work-life balance, change management and discrimination and disadvantage in the labour market. However, her move to Pakistan shifted her interests towards high performance work systems, cross-cultural HRM and leadership. She is currently working on several national and international projects which cover areas of global leadership competencies, trust across cultures, performance management, and organisational justice. She uses both qualitative and quantitative techniques for her projects, but particularly enjoys working on large datasets. Dr. Nadeem is a Chartered MCIPD (UK) and a member of the Academy of Management (US), the Society of Human Resource Management (US), and the HR Forum Islamabad (Pakistan).


  1. What is the most challenging aspect of your position and why?

The most challenging part at this point as I am working as the Head of Department is to co-ordinate different activities and to make people do their share of work. It’s not just about your work or the input you’re giving but also how much others are motivated to do their part which is reflected on your own overall performance. To work as a team with other people and to make sure that everybody does their fair share of work is the most challenging part my position.


  1. What is the key to balance your personal and professional life?

To me the biggest thing is that if you’re happy in both spheres it makes life so much easier. If you enjoy your work and if you enjoy your home life then it is easier to have a balance because you get break from your professional life in your personal life, and it helps in charging your batteries and revitalizing your energy, and vice versa. Other than that a little bit of flexibility, I have worked all my life and a very important element of it has been, especially when the kids were younger, a little flexibility which was given to me by my employers and to some extent, I believe, I earned by working very hard and, at times, even working more than my fair share of work. So, flexibility is the other element which makes it easier to balance your personal and professional life.


  1. Has anyone inspired you so far? Why & How? (Female)

I cannot think of any one particular person who inspired me but if I think about any inspiration then that is none other than our Hazrat Mohammad (SAW).


  1. Have you ever experienced any stigmas or biases against you because of being a working woman?

No, I have never directly felt that there exists a bias against working women. I am, perhaps, a very gender neutral person and I don’t judge people as males or females in terms of work. Not even for an iota of second have a I ever felt that anybody’s response is different due to me being a female, in fact, I do get advantage in terms of respect, for being a woman.


  1. What’s the most important thing you expect from colleagues and staff?

The two most important things I expect are Honesty and Integrity. If all of us try our best that we actually become as much Sadiq and Ameen as Hazrat Mohammad (SAW), which he (SAW) was even before he got Prophet hood, all the evils and problems of the society will become right. When you do what you’re supposed to do without lying or making excuses about it than that, transparency, openness and honesty makes everything fine.


  1. In this male dominated society, how do you see the future of working women? (Way ahead than today? Sitting at home?)

I think we’re moving in the positive direction and I see that there’ll be more women coming out of their homes and working. I am a working woman and I have very liberal ideas, I travel around the world representing papers at conferences and attending meetings, even before I’ve lived thirteen years in London, I have been to different countries in Europe for my projects even while being in London so I have some very liberal ideas but I also have some very conservative ideas; I think that men and women are different and what I would not like to see in the Pakistani society is the complete breakage of family life as has happened in many European countries. I would like most of the women to work most of their lives because I believe that by just being a housewife you miss out on so much in life, though it’s an option you can opt for, but I am against making your professional life so much dominating that your personal life gets ignored, therefore, there should be some balance. The future I see is that females would be working more and especially the educated females who are working would learn lessons from the west and try to compete with males on an equal level, but by being different and Insha’Allah they’ll go high and even higher than men. And I believe that Pakistani working women would be more intelligent and successful than Western women.


  1. Where do you see yourself after four years? (At home? Still working? A step ahead?)

I’ll still be working at FAST and Insha’Allah we’ll work to take FAST in international rankings. There will be more research centers at FAST and the profile would be significantly improved. We will have students of FAST, from the business school as well, working for multi-nationals, going to international organizations and international universities on scholarships. As I mentioned before, my work is reflected through my students, my staff and the people around me. So, Insha’Allah we’ll improve the ranking of FAST and I’ll be working here.