Women prefer to be employed
A girl born in 1362 who founded the first Iranian electronic supermarket in her own room in 1388; now she works in a four-floor building in Saadat Abad as the CEO of one of the best sites for group discount, i. e.Takhfif Arman Iranian company that is known as Takhfifan.
The value of her company is more than 10 million dollars. We had an interview with her which is as follows:
It appears that you’ve come back from Canada. Was it for business or leisure?
It was for leisure but I visited some startup companies too.
Do you like Canada for living?
I don’t like its long distances and cold weather.
Do you think of a certain place for living?
Germany is a good place because of its calmness, easy social life and access to international facilities.
Are you looking for blessing or challenge?
I think I’m in the second group because challenge is a part of my life.
Are you the first, middle or last child of the family?
I’m the first one. I have a younger sister who is sale director of Takhfifan.
Are you strict towards your sister?
I try to treat her like two colleagues at office and we work hard.
What was your father’s job?
He was the senior member of Rajaee power plant and he managed many plants and get retired there.
What about your mother?
When we were born, she quit her work and became housewife.
Do you want to quit your job after having a baby?
No. I don’t think so.
Do you mean that you don’t want to have a baby?
Of course I will.
Thus your future husband should quit his job?!
No, both of us will work.
I see a kind of caution about job in your family. Is launching a private business a kind of reaction to this caution or not?
My father always did other jobs as well to earn a living and now he lives as a middle-class person compared to his peers.
We had a good life but my father wanted me to be hard working and earn money myself. This made me to progress in life.
When did you leave Iran?
After I got my B.A. in 1386.
What was your goal when you left Iran? Did you want to work or study?
I left Iran to work abroad. I tried to show myself as a strong person who has good knowledge and I wanted to prove every one that I was the right choice and I proved it. I worked more than anyone else.
When you were a child, you wanted to be a driver! Do you like driving now?
I have two cars; Sportage and 206. But I don’t drive much.
Do you agree that women’s driving is not good?
The number of women who drive with caution is more.
Is it true in business as well?
No, there isn’t any written rule that says women can’t do a job. This is related to culture. In my family, everyone expected me to do many tasks and my father behavior towards us was like the way he treated his colleagues.
Many people don’t want women to work. This is related to family and society as a whole. For example my mother says to me that I’m a girl and don’t need to work.
In startup space we don’t see the topic of sex that much. You as a woman has come to this space and launched a business. What is in this space that can attract women?
This space is modern but after all it’s a business and has its own challenges and problems. We should see whether a woman can take risks or not.
In Iran startup space the number of men who know what startup is and look for its nature is more than women and it is related to universities and culture. Women prefer to be employed.
I think family has an important role because families satisfy with a 800.000 -Toman-salary of a woman. Women work with less salary and don’t look for promotion but this is not the case for men.
So you say that women don’t dare to enter startup space?
This is related to families that don’t let women grow, but men take more risks and families support them.
Do you mean that women come from a male-dominated society and upbringing issues are effective?
Women live with their family before marriage and after marriage their husbands support them and you as a woman have less responsibility to make them grow.
Do you mean that this is because women have less responsibility?
Yes, when you don’t tolerate any burden, this situation will arise.
What are the happenings and barriers according to different environments and different policies? Has it happened that you face a barrier because of your sex?
I faced many barriers, but not in startup space. I faced many problems in traditional environment of our country.
Our colleagues and businesses always support us and I never faced a problem in e-commerce environment due to the fact that I’m a woman.
This is because I myself attended all the meetings and negotiate with others. I worked on myself.
I heard “No” but I continued. This is about us and our self-esteem. We should teach reality of business to people, boys or girls.
What is the most important reality about Iran startup?
I can tell different aspects. From lack of professional human resource to management forces, marketing limitations, lack of morals, taxes, insurance, etc.
Do you think startup space is suitable for women?
If people be honest, this space can be ready for women. If I like trade and business, I will not retreat. I haven’t seen a barrier in this space in Iran.
Do you mean that masculine feature of this environment is about quantity or man-dominating culture is involed?
This environment is called Electronic Commerce and it is novel. But you have relations with public offices and traditional departments too. Thus, you should be ready for any behavior. If you are a weak person, you can never grow.
Do you pay less to women?
Their request for salary is usually less than men, because they grow less and have little expectations.
How many employees do you have?
I have 100 employees 70% of which are men and 30% of which are women.
Who is the most successful woman in Iranian startup environment?
I think we are the oldest company in this field.
Why didn’t you mentioned yourself as the most successful? Do you know a better company?
No. I didn’t want to say it directly and don’t want you to write this. I just say that we are the first company in this field.
Read the second part of the interview.