"Kolna Ummahat," a widely known platform today, is the first online space targeting women worldwide. The platform provides consultations to Arab mothers wishing to pursue their passion with experts in various fields. The platform aims to make a positive impact on the life of every working expatriate mother.
The platform includes inspirational stories, personal experiences, real-life success stories, and various articles supporting the mothers and guiding them to what is best for them and their children. A lot has gone into building this platform and making it what it is today, claims - Mira Al-Hourani, founder, Kolna Ummahat
Who is Mera Al-Hourani?
She is the founder and director of the "Ummahat" website, with 14 years of experience in the Emirates and Jordan. An expert in digital marketing and comprehensive marketing strategies, Mira holds a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Arts and a master's degree in international business and marketing from the University of Jordan. She has worked in the e-marketing sectors for eight years in the UAE with global and local brands. It managed budgets of more than a million dollars and achieved big digital goals.
She has answered many questions about digital presence, how to reach recruiters in international companies, team selection, inspiring success stories, and many other questions whose answers taught us a lot.
Let’s dive into this exciting interview:
You have over 15,000 followers across digital platforms. Can you tell us all the strategies for reaching this number, and what advice would you give to maintain a strong digital presence?
I managed to get that number after 6 years of work. So, I think the number compared to the years is very small. But I can say most of this number is due to "good content." Concerning the Strategy, over the last three years, I have exerted more effort. The greater the effort, the greater the number of followers.
My advice is that a "content writer" or anyone on Social Media should focus on "quality" rather than quantity, focus on the powerful message that matters, and talk about topics that he/she has experience with. Don't improvise, don't copy, don't spread unreliable information. He must be credible, and he/she must be society-oriented.
You’ve worked with market leaders such as Al Abbar, Chevrolet, Nestle, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Hilton Hotels, Emaar, and many more. Amidst this fierce competition, how did you stand out among the crowd, and what did you learn while working with these major brands?
Yes, thank God. I had the honor to work for such international companies. I worked with some of them as an employee, but I was on a temporary contract in most cases. The main reason for working with them was "good branding" through companies or individuals who dealt with me through an interview that I conducted, or a small project that I completed, or through the LinkedIn platform.
How did you distinguish with them? I see that they are the ones who added value to me. How did you identify with them? I see they taught me a lot when I worked with them, where I worked on their online and offline advertising content. So, I feel so proud to work with them.
As a Jordanian woman living in the United Arab Emirates, can you mention some of the significant differences you have experienced as a working woman?
80% of my work experience has been in the Emirates. I have only worked in Jordan for three years with one company. So, the UAE represents my real experience.
If I compare Jordan with the Emirates, I see that the UAE enjoys more diversity due to the multiple nationalities and the labor market's speed development. As a working woman, I see the most significant differences are the openness and acceptance of women's presence in the labor market.
When I was working in Jordan, there were 12 female employees compared to 120 males. So, that percentage is meager. There is no doubt that the ratio has changed in Jordan, as I left it for nearly 10 years, and we still aspire for a better
In the Emirates, the presence of women in the labor market is excellent at a rate of nearly 50%, and in some cases, there are full teams of women only.
The second difference is the availability of the option to "work from home" from the first moment I was in the UAE due to its tremendous advances in technology. They follow a policy of "as long as you are online, you can deliver," which was not available in Jordan.
On LinkedIn, you are the “always supportive” person. From your perspective, how can employers support their employees, the benefits of helping others in general, and who is the most critical supporter in your professional and personal life?
I wish I could really be this person. In my last two jobs, my boss was very supportive, in the sense that when I was wrong, they supported me and didn't underestimate my work because we all got it wrong, and they were always expressing gratitude and appreciation. This was a lesson I taught when I became the manager in charge of the entire team. And they ever asked, "How can I help you get through this stage?" This is what we call for it now about the need for "empathy."
All successful entrepreneurs now also emphasize the need to hold themselves accountable first, as a manager, "Why does the employee make a mistake? It may be a misdirection, and he may need more training if you perform all your responsibilities completely. It continues in error, this is evidence of his unwillingness to learn, and this is what I always care for." I always try to provide support, guidance, and encouragement and allow people to express their opinions and make decisions as I believe in maintaining a team spirit.
"Kolna Ummahat" team includes 7 women and 3 young men ... How do you choose your team? What are the most required skills that you look for in every candidate?
I can say that they chose me, and that story was previously published on LinkedIn. I've known most of them digitally, and some of them I've worked with before... This is how I know one of these guys I've ever worked with.
This project needs a "feminine touch" to really express what working women are going through. So, I choose the ladies, and the young man works on the technical side.
What advice did you wish you’d heard earlier in your career about women and work?
If I could go back in time, I would be more confident and not ashamed of being a mother. I was ashamed or afraid to be rejected and unable to get the job because I am a mother. It was unfair before Corona, but now it is normal.
Employees now tend to start their own businesses, either through startups or freelance work. What is the most critical advice you would give them to keep their businesses on track and overcome the first period challenges they might face?
My advice, in both cases, is the same: before a person starts going into his own business, he/she has to:
- Not quitting his/her job
- Develop a backup plan
- Tries to mitigate risks as much as possible
- Reduce expenditures by relying on his personal effort and volunteers
- Promote self-confidence
- Work on "Unconscious," there's a book called "The Power of Your Subconscious mind," his writer Murphy says, "You have to think about success, profits and dreams always and you will see everything you really think about come real.
I personally write my dreams on paper and rely on interns who want to enter the labor market. I train and teach them, and I also utilize their skills to operate my business.