Jobs and Career
You learn a lot from your work mates
Posted Friday, February 1 2013 at 02:00
Sheila Mugyenzi. She believes women need to work hard, expecting no favours and looking for none.
How many hours on average do you spend at work and spare for family?
At work, I spend nine hours and for family four or five hours. I’ve never seriously done the math till now!
You said you have four to five hours daily for your family; how do you spend it with them?
During the week, quality time with them is difficult, so I make sure I make time for the children during the meals, bathe time and bed time to talk about the day, friends, what could have happened and many other concerns. On some Saturdays I try to shop with the children. Their Dad does not fancy this activity at all! Sunday is for church and relaxing at home.
The weeks are so hectic that by the weekend one just wants to rest. We don’t go out much, but this is about to change because the children are getting bored and need some change from the ‘home – school’ routine. It is also important to put in time to check on extended family but advancement in technology has ruined this because once you make a phone call and promise a visit, you feel this will do for a while, which is terrible. I intend to change this as well this year.
What has been your biggest achievement in your career?
Being part of a team that promotes Uganda’s investment opportunities to a regional and global market
When did you start work and how was it entering the working class?
I started working in 1993 with the Civil Aviation Authority, where I worked for five years as a Revenue Inspector. This high sounding title simply entailed ensuring that revenues tallied with actual passengers or aircrafts served. It was an exciting time for me because for the first time I could supplement our single Mum’s income to help with food, rent and pocket money for my brothers who were still in school
If you had to live it all over again, would you choose another career and why or why not?
No, I wouldn’t. It’s one of the careers where you tend to meet a whole mix of people with diverse cultures, perceptions and ways of doing things. You learn a lot from this interaction and I believe, this in turn can make one a better person because you learn to cope with almost anybody.
You work in a community dominated by men, how have you been treated or is there a day/incident that you were belittled because you are a woman?
You’re right! UIA’s Top Management is fully male and the Middle management is mostly male. I guess UIA has been blessed to have gender sensitive males and ladies with strong characters, so you will not hear of any woman being belittled. How do you start on the HR for instance, or the Ag Director Finance, or our Legal ladies? These are strong characters and if they smell anything like male chauvinism .Our men are wiser. It’s not an effort for me to carry my head high at work. I guess it comes from working with Madam (Prof. Maggie Kigozi) for a long time. She did have a soft spot for women, but as far as work and professionalism were concerned, she treated both male and female equally. Being a woman does not make you any less than or equal to the man with whom you share office space with. Each person at work is a professional in their own right.
What advice would you give to young ladies in this era on how to change their attitude towards work?
Expect no favours and look for none. There is great satisfaction that comes from knowing that it was your efforts that got you where you are. There is no work that men do that women can’t do especially if it requires mental capability. There might be a difference with manual work requiring heavy loads.