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Diversity in Leadership: Spotlight on female leaders

Sandwell College

This blog is part of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Diversity in Leadership campaign.

The Diversity in Leadership campaign works with some of the regions’ biggest employers in order to boost the numbers of women and those from black and minority ethnic (BAME), lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and disability groups being represented on boards of directors and in leadership roles.

Click here to find out more about the campaign. 

I had always dreamed of being a teacher, writes Nargis Bostan assistant director at Sandwell College. 

I married young and then having my son just a year later I supposed that my dream of teaching would remain just that; a dream.

I remember my husband coming home from work to find a happy baby, a three course meal and kitchen redecorations well underway!

This eventually led him to ask I think you need a new challenge; do you want to go back into education and finish your studies?

I was now a mother of two boys and received my Masters in ICT in Education from the University of Birmingham.

My second son was born blind but I took this as an opportunity to grow, learn and ensure my son was not denied any opportunity.

Therefore, I got involved in his school supporting him and other parents in finding ways of supporting his needs which was so beneficial.

I found this experience so rewarding that this led to my involvement in other voluntary organisations and I became a governor at Priestly Smith School for the Blind.

My son Ahmad Bostan has become a very successful young man gaining a joint BA Honours in International Relations & Political Science from the University of Birmingham and is also a Political Editor of British Muslim TV and a founding member of the World Wide Charity Penny Appeal.   

After qualifying in further education I started to teach at Sandwell College and within the year was offered a full time position as an ESOL Community Coordinator.

I now had four children with the youngest starting school at this stage. I then became involved in various voluntary groups to help local issues which then became international issues.  

I was now working with various school academies, nurseries in Quality improvement role alongside a full time job and 4 children!

My strengths of improvement were recognised in the college and I became Team leader for Early Years and Education then Head of Section of Early Years and Public Services.

Within the year I was appointed Assistant Director for Early Years, Public Services and Service Industries. I have also been honoured to have other roles such as, Director for Rights and Equality Sandwell, Chair of Governors Shireland Hall Primary Academy / George Betts Academy, Vice Chair IMAN Interfaith Muslim Action Network working and Sandwell Counter Terrorism.

My message and conviction is to inspire and encourage other women that whilst family and children are the most beautiful aspect and cornerstone of life this is only enriched if you follow your dreams too. 

We all need a support and anchor to be able to achieve this balance of family life and career.

I can testify to the sleepless night of studying, coupled with the school run and a full family life and perhaps I do not say this often enough but I could not have achieved my dreams and potential without my wonderful husband who has encouraged, supported and believed in me throughout.