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What the heck is a girl warrior? Ask Boo King, founder of Victoria, BC-based Girl Warrior Productions and she will tell you that every woman has a story to tell. These stories inspire others through the actions, re-actions, struggles and triumphs showcased through individual, personal experience. The telling is what reveals the strength, dreams and empowerment that contribute to the foundation of a girl warrior.
Persistent and inspiring are words that fit Jabeen Boga to a T and make her a girl warrior. Jabeen is the latest to be featured on the Girl Warrior Productions site at https://girlwarriorproductions.com/jabeen-boga-the-human-resources-leader-with-a-heart-for-community-service/ where profiles of capable, motivating, real women make up a significant part of the content. Jabeen is an instructor of human resources courses for Ashton College as well as a speaker, teacher and leader within the HR community.
With her abundant experience and expertise, Jabeen is one of very few instructors able to teach every one of Ashton College’s human resources courses online. She has close to 10 years of experience in the industry and holds a Certified Human Resources designation. The British Columbia Human Resources Management Association is also an important element for Jabeen, where she contributes in a variety of ways. She is also a leader with the Human Resources Management Association and a member of the organization’s advisory council.
It sounds like HR was Jabeen’s path all along, doesn’t it? Interestingly, her career was first slated to be in the accounting arena because of her family’s focus. Her grandfather, father and even her cousins were all accountants, so she began her journey on that road. In her third year of university, however, she found that the occupation simply didn’t click. In a co-op term, she accidentally discovered human resources and knew she was in the right place. Of course it helped that her family supported her decision.
She notes that if she were able to give input to her younger self, she would tell that growing girl warrior to be comfortable with uncertainty. Perhaps the certainty her family felt about their career choices made it even harder for Jabeen to be uncertain about accounting, but she says there is no issue for anyone in making a career or direction change. She had to find the right career through the process of doing – before and during her co-op term. First, she found by doing the work of accounting in school that it wasn’t the right fit and second, she found doing the work of HR in her co-op program that she’d determined the right field. Not everyone is as lucky to find out it’s time to make a change when they are in school and she notes that people make career changes (some do so multiple times) at all ages and stages of their lives.
People like Jabeen bring inspiration and guidance to others through their delivery of human resources courses. Even in a time of uncertainty, during the COVID pandemic, she continues to teach human resources courses online and helps students achieve their dreams of moving forward in a constantly changing field at a time of great uncertainty.
When times are challenging, she suggests reaching inward to find your own personal warrior to keep moving forward. It’s an opportunity to consider your current situation, career goals and other important elements in your life. To this end, she recommends that people make use of downtime to review their resume and make updates, checking online profiles and add recent accomplishments, practice interviewing skills, search for jobs (there are still a large number of job postings) and, as she says, most importantly take care of yourself.
Teaching human resources courses is only one aspect of Jabeen’s leadership. She also believes in the importance of mentoring others and has done so through three organizations: SFU’s Beedie School of Business, CPHR BC & Yukon and Young Women in Business. Her ability to create positive relationships with others may come from the fact that her family moved a lot when she was younger and she was challenged to find her feet quickly when it came to both her school work and making new friends.
In terms of inspiration to other girl warriors out there, Jabeen suggests they take advantage of networking. Even during a pandemic there are numerous online networking options that allow people to connect and get to know each other. She says it’s actually even easier to get to know other women in today’s connected world through tools like LinkedIn, email or asking friends to connect you with someone they know that inspires you.
Certainly Jabeen is a source of inspiration for others, but who does she look up to? She notes the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern (the youngest female head of state in the world) is her biggest hero. She points to the leader’s fight against economic inequality and overall commitment to her country as commendable. She also sees Rosa Parks as a hero for the way she stood up for civil rights in Alabama in the 1950s. Parks may be best known for the “Montgomery Bus Boycott” where she and others refused to acknowledge the region’s bus segregation of black people and white people.
Jabeen also mentions a personal hero in her life – her mom. She says witnessing her mom’s own strength and resilience has given her more confidence and a greater belief in her own abilities.
All of these things culminate in Jabeen’s strong leadership abilities no matter whether she is teaching human resources courses online, mentoring young people who are advancing in their careers or providing input and direction to an HR organization. She believes in leading by example, continual growth, empowering employees and being able (and willing) to adapt to changing circumstances as the elements of being a good leader. She notes that living in the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s definitely a time that leaders need to model the behaviour they desire, give people the confidence to take risks in their jobs and accept the changing and evolving environment we often find ourselves in.
At Ashton Education, we’re proud to have Jabeen as an inspirational girl warrior who is teaching and guiding the HR leaders of tomorrow.