Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Young and dynamic Alina Asghar, Manager Fulfilment at Philip Morris Pakistan Limited, continues to #BreakTheBias in her journey in the field of Supply Chain and Logistics.

Recognized worldwide as a reliable and agile global integrated logistics provider, for International Women’s Day 2022, Maersk celebrates empowered women in the field of Supply Chain. This time around, they are featuring the inspiring story of Alina Asghar, Manager Fulfilment at Phillip Morris Pakistan, who is a veteran in the supply chain industry with over 12 years under her belt.

A shining star who strives to lead by example, Alina balances multiple hats as a working mother, wife, daughter and mentor. She has always been a person who likes to plan, innovate and execute and she follows her passion while strongly believing that gender is irrelevant in the pursuit of your dream job.

Recalling her first day at her first job where there were only 2 other women at the office, she questioned her chosen career path and wondered if she was going in the right direction. Never giving up though, she continued on her journey becoming an exemplary example of a leader. Seeing the growth in the number of women working in the field of supply chain empowers and motivates her to work harder towards achieving her goals.

Reminiscing on her earlier days, Alina describes the rocky beginning of her journey as her father had passed away while she was in her last semester at the university. Through sheer will and hard work, she successfully completed her under-graduation and received a good offer from a reputed multinational corporation. Among the few students selected from Pakistani universities, Alina considers herself privileged to have received the opportunity to live her dreams and earn the title she bears today.

Working in a male dominated industry, one of the main challenges that Alina had to face was acceptance in collaborations with external stakeholders, including transporters and vendors who preferred negotiating with her male counterparts. Tackling this head-on, she worked to create a comfortable environment in her dealings with them including having soft and simplistic conversations with them, speaking in Urdu, their language of choice, and addressing them as ‘bhai’ to facilitate a sense of connection.

Alina recalls a time when she was at a crossroad; she had faced complicated pregnancies around the same time and she questioned her ability to perform well at her job. Her family, her husband and her in-laws became her biggest cheerleaders and their continuous respect for her routine as a working mother and constant support encouraged her to continue to pursue her career.

As a working mother, Alina is also determined to ensure that she spends quality time with her children and family. The support she receives from her company and colleagues enables her to prioritise and balance her focus between work and home in equal measures, which motivates her to strive harder towards her goals.

Today, Alina Asghar leads a team of 9 men and this gives her a sense of empowerment. Proud to be an example to young girls on how they too can #breakthebias and grow in the field of supply chain, Alina leaves us with a strong message.

“All of us can be leaders. We just need to have a clear vision in mind. If the wind doesn’t blow your way, you just need to adjust the sails to find an ocean of opportunities waiting for you.”

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