Yasmeen Sehbai, originally a yoga instructor and a counselor, always wanted to work for the betterment of women. Kickstarting her professional career with a family business in such a young age, as the part of board of directors, she has left no stone unturned to make “Shaheen Air International” a standout in the aviation sector. Striving to provide the best services to customers and endowing equal responsibilities to the employees, Yasmeen Sehbai has become a leading name in Pakistan Aviation Sector with Shaheen Air International.
FHM: What is your opinion about woman empowerment in Pakistan? Do you think that women are being provided with enough liberty and opportunities to work?
YS: Regarding the woman empowerment in Pakistan, I believe this is a long time coming. I am constantly inspired by the strength and resilience of Pakistani women like Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy &Malala Yousafzai. There is so much potential to learn from such amazing and strong women like begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, I feel that sometimes we need to look to our past mothers to find the strength and inspiration rather than the current trends of looking to the Bollywood’s and Hollywood’s. We do not get empowered by wearing more lipstick or shorter skirts and lower shirt lines; we get empowered by having inspiration from amazing women and doing our best to do the same. I also do not believe that the women of Pakistan, and most other places in the world for that matter, are provided with enough liberty and opportunity to work. It would be nice to see more equal opportunity and more professionalism in the workplace in Pakistan.
FHM: How do you balance your personal and professional life?
YS: Balancing personal and professional life for any woman is always a challenge. We have so many demands on us at all times and rarely get time to just ‘be’. So, I think the key to balance lays in one’s perspective, we have to know when to put on those different ‘hats’ and be who we need to be for any given moment. We always have to have the insight to know when some things are taking over others and keep a rigorous set of check and balances to keep us entered and focused.
FHM: How is SAI empowering women? What is the percentage of working women in your airline and how do you empower your cabin crew to make them comfortable?
YS: I think SAI empowers women in many ways. One can be through providing equal opportunities to participate in company events, another is through our constant re-evaluation and changing of policy to try and incorporate maternity leaves for those who are expecting children. The percentage of women working in Shaheen Air International is 25%. We empower cabin crew and make them feel comfortable by giving them equal career opportunities as women.
FHM: Being a part of the family business, have you ever thought about going ahead with your own brand or firm?
YS: Of Course! I have thought of this, and it is something that is always on my mind; exploring. My dream is to one day open a wellness center where people can come from all walks of life, and have all the resources they need to understand their health (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) and find out what they need to optimize their quality of life.
FHM: Favourite perfume?
YS: Chanel No. 5
FHM: Are you brand conscious?
FHM: Favourite holiday destination?
YS: Tofino, British Colombia, Canada
FHM: 3 things you can’t live without?
YS: Food, water, sleep
FHM: Describe yourself in 3 words?
YS: Honest, Loyal, Respectful
FHM: Any inspiration?
YS: All strong women I meet, namely my mother.
FHM: Any hidden talent?
FHM: First thing you notice when you meet someone?
YS: Their eyes
FHM: Favourite clothing brand?
FHM: Things you never leave your home without?
YS: My children
FHM: Are you foodie?
FHM: One good and bad habit?
YS: Good – I’m very health conscious, I can do anything for the sake of good health. Bad – I’m a neat freak, so I am always cleaning.
FHM: Are you a morning bird or a night owl?
YS: An absolute LARK, a morning bird