Muna Al Taq
PR & Communications Manager for RSCN (BirdLife in Jordan)
"You have to know how to deal with different types of people"
After being inspired about nature by a presentation by RSCN when I was at school, now I work for RSCN and regularly represent them at international events, and in building relationships with sponsor companies.
At the beginning of my career, when I was working mostly in rural areas with local communities, it was quite hard to go to the field and involve local women in livelihood programmes, as their mentality was not to lead. Now, it has become much easier.
When I was the youngest manager, my challenge was to convey my ideas without offending my colleagues, for two reasons: they were men, and older than me. Culturally, it is not acceptable to receive orders from a woman in work. I have used different management styles with male colleagues.
I face the challenge progressively. I need to show that a woman in our country deserves respect through her personality, and through interactions with locals or with colleagues. You have to know how to deal with different types of people; especially when reaching out to local communities. I tried everything alone – from driving to field sites, to being part of tourism teams, to hiking trails, some of them with rappelling and climbing. I showed them that I can do it when I want to.
Another big challenge for me is how to ensure an equilibrium between my private life and my work – I think this is a challenge of all working mothers. I’m lucky to have a supportive family, and the support and appreciation from RSCN’s management always lead me to more successes.
Head of GIS Unit, The Conservation Monitoring Center/ RSCN (BirdLife Partner), Jordan
"I face the challenge of working in a very fast-paced field of technology"
I ended up working in this field as I had passion for conservation, and I also believed that GIS [Geographic Information System] could largely contribute to advancing conservation work in Jordan. I’ve contributed to transforming the use of GIS within the organisation from a traditional visualisation and map production tool, into an effective decision-support and planning tool, by developing the data analysis methods and models used by RSCN.
On a personal level, and as a mother of three, I face the challenge of trying to find balance between work and family demands. On a professional level, I face the challenge of working in a very fast-paced field of technology, and with the work load in a very dynamic organisation like RSCN, I have to create space for self-development and innovation.
I rely to a great extent on my family's support. RSCN also offers some kind of flexibility for working mothers, ensuring that flexibility does not affect their performance! I also make sure to keep myself informed of the latest GIS applications and trends in the field of conservation. The wide range of projects managed by RSCN helps expose me to this.
Source: Birdlife International