Dar es Salaam. Last week was a happy one for Dr Zeenat Suleiman, the Regional Chief Executive Officer (RCEO) of the Aga Khan Health Services.
This was after she was presented with the Women in Management (Wima) Award. Dr Suleiman says the award means a lot to her after years of dedication delivering health-care services.
She said that, as regional chief executive officer of Aga Khan Health Services in Kenya and Tanzania, it was a blessing to be feted as a leader standing tall - not only for herself but also for her women colleagues.
Dr Suleiman told The Citizen an interview following the award she received in Dar es Salaam that it means a lot for the organisation that she represents.
She encouraged both ordinary women and professionals to work hard and take great interest in everything they do to enhance their lot. “I believe in lifelong learning as a woman leader and take pride in having a doctorate degree which has really prepared me to be in this role working for Aga Khan Health Services in the region.
“But getting a degree is nothing if you don’t implement that knowledge in real life. Health care industry is very technical as well as very challenging to deliver quality and exceptional health-care.”
Zeenat noted that passion was a key driver for her success. “As the RCEO, I try to bring my knowledge into practice to serve the community better and cannot do that if I don’t have the passion, commitment and dedication to do it consistently.”
She counseled fellow women to aspire for impact leadership and become role models to those that they lead and the young generation out there. “Princess Zahra Aga Khan was my role model. I also admire President Samia Suluhu Hassan in the way she is leading the country and inspiring us which inspires women to work hard.”
“As a woman leader, you must be persistent. There is no substitute for hard work. I started as a registered Nurse. I got my degrees, I changed my thinking, I learned constantly and I think it’s important to speak up and not shy from putting your points forward,” she stressed.
She said to be part of the Aga Khan Development Network under his Highness the Aga Khan and the Health Services Executive Committee chaired by Princess Zahra Aga Khan are strong attributes.
She hails the organisation’s emphasis on gender equality and the vision to develop more women professionals.