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Board of Directors

  • Sadaf Kidwai, President

    As the President of the International Women of Saskatoon (IWS), Sadaf Kidwai brings over 17 years of rich experience as a Business Intelligence Consultant and Architect. Her tenure at IWS, starting in 2017, has been marked by insightful leadership and strategic direction, aligning with the organization’s mission to support and empower newcomer women and their families.

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    Sadaf’s expertise in technology, coupled with a Master’s degree in Computer Science, informs her approach to problem-solving and decision-making at IWS. She plays a key role in shaping policies and strategies that enhance the organization’s ability to meet the evolving needs of its community.

    Beyond her work at IWS, Sadaf is also a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. Her initiative, the Women Empowerment Alliance, mirrors the values of IWS by focusing on mentorship, networking, and career advancement for women, particularly new immigrants facing professional challenges. This endeavor showcases her commitment to fostering inclusive growth and support, both within and outside the organization.

    As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, Sadaf’s diverse experiences enrich her leadership at IWS. Her dedication to community service and advocacy for diversity in the workplace are integral to her role, making a significant impact on the lives of those IWS serves.

    In her capacity as President, Sadaf Kidwai continues to be a driving force at IWS, committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment and contributing to the organization’s legacy of empowering immigrant and refugee women in Saskatoon and beyond.

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  • Maryam Sasani, Vice President

    Maryam Sasani’s educational background in Civil Engineering equips her with critical reasoning skills and a profound understanding of the challenges encountered by new immigrants and refugees during their settlement period. Drawing on her expertise in risk management and an anti-oppressive philosophy, she recognizes the hardships and unique challenges faced by these newcomers.

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    Maryam’s strong commitment to embracing feminist principles and advocating for gender equality is reflected in her efforts to provide benefits to diverse communities. She actively addresses systemic inequalities that impact women across different cultural, social, and economic contexts. Her multifaceted approach underscores her dedication in making a positive impact on the lives of women in various communities.

    Her expertise in strategic planning, leadership, and the integration of information technology is crucial for enhancing our organizational efficiency. She consistently demonstrates a commitment to the vision and core values of International Women of Saskatoon (IWS) by initiating, developing, and executing plans that align with the organization’s goals. Additionally, she plays a proactive role in various programs designed for women, empowering them to become valuable contributors to all facets of Canadian society.

    Maryam Sasani’s tenure as a board member of the International Women of Saskatoon has provided her the opportunity to actively participate in decision-making and administrative responsibilities, resulting in a positive impact on women’s empowerment. Her dedication towards creating a supportive and inclusive environment reflects her commitment to fostering positive change for women in the community.

    Her efforts have significantly contributed to enhance the well-being and integration of women immigrants and refugees within the broader of Saskatoon community not only by engaging in online meetings, fostered inclusive dialogues, consistently advocated for cultural sensitivity, but also played a crucial role in implementing innovative programs for women.

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  • Marlena Guzowski, Treasurer

    Marlena Guzowski, brings a diverse and comprehensive background to International Women of Saskatoon (IWS). Her doctoral research, focusing on ‘The effects of immigration on family teaching and learning, while incorporating anti-oppressive principles,’ reflects a commitment to addressing important issues faced by new immigrants and refugees nowadays.

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    Her management experience of more than 5 years with the non-profit organizations and teaching experience with the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization demonstrate her practical engagement in supporting diverse immigrant communities.

    Furthermore, her exposure to various international settings, such as Italy, Korea, UAE, and Germany, significantly enriches her professional and educational expertise. This global perspective enhances her nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by women immigrants, within the fields of immigration, education, and community support. Such a well-rounded background positions her effectively to address the diverse needs required for serving as a board member of International Women Saskatoon (IWS).

    Marlena’s teaching experience in both Ottawa and Toronto for the LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) illustrates her hands-on commitment to supporting immigrants and refugees on their language learning journey. This invaluable experience equips her with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the field of immigration and newcomer support. As a Board Member of IWS, Marlena’s comprehensive knowledge is particularly relevant to addressing the specific needs faced by women newcomers in Saskatoon.

    Additionally, prior management role at the Newcomer Information Centre in Saskatoon showcases her leadership and communication skills, highlighting her capacity to oversee critical aspects of an organization. In this role, she ensured the smooth functioning and effective communication within and between departments while providing essential services and information to newcomers.

    The outlined IWS services, including education, counselling, settlement services, language assessment, referral and instruction align with Marlena’s extensive experience and make her a valuable asset in addressing the diverse needs of women newcomers, immigrants, and refugees.

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  • Chinaza Mojekwu, Secretary

    Chinaza Mojekwu is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan. She brings valuable experience as a seasoned project manager with a successful track record. Notably, she spearheaded the seamless implementation of a new Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), demonstrating a commitment to efficiency and technological innovation.

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    Chinaza effective communication skills has been a key aspect of her leadership, fostering collaboration and inclusivity among team members with diverse backgrounds. During critical challenges, her problem-solving skills and adaptability came to the forefront, and she actively engaged in community initiatives with a focus on corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, her data analysis skills have consistently contributed to informed decision-making, particularly in optimizing marketing campaigns for the organization.

    Beyond her professional achievements, she is a passionate advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, holding a background in sociology with a focus on Women and Gender Studies. Her commitment to creating a more just and equitable society is evident through her engagement in the Saskatoon women’s community. She actively collaborates on initiatives that amplify women’s voices, challenge stereotypes, and advance the feminist agenda, aligning with the organization’s mission to empower and support women from diverse backgrounds, including newcomers, immigrants, and refugees.

    As a Board member of International Women of Saskatoon, she emphasizes feminist and anti-oppressive principles in her approach and implements regulation in the organization to support newcomer, immigrant, and refugee women. This involves dismantling systemic inequalities, recognizing diversity, considering intersectionality, and advocating for inclusive and culturally sensitive services. Her goal is to challenge discriminatory policies, promote economic empowerment, ensure access to comprehensive support services, and foster community engagement.

    She is committed to assisting to enhance our organization’s capacity for research and development in the areas of Women Empowerment, Gender Equality, and GBA Plus Analysis.

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  • Aisha Rafique

    Aisha Rafique, a Board Member of IWS, plays a vital role in advancing the organization’s mission. Throughout her professional career, she held significant positions such as Team Leader and Chairperson for the Auditor Forum, contributing to her success and recognition and being recognized as the Success Story in 2021, ranking among the top 2%, reflects her dedication towards her goals.

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    The conceptualization, planning, and execution of strategies along with impactful community ideas and initiative programs such as the Women’s and Teen Wellness Workshop, Introduction to NLP, Women’s mental wellness program, and Family Wellness Program, Aisha voluntarily dedicates herself, in promoting gender equality, intercultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion, These initiatives involve collaboration with experts in the field to provide valuable education and support to the Saskatoon community. This experience allowed her to witness the transformative impact of tailored programs and community engagement in empowering women.

    As a Chartered Quality Professional certified by the Chartered Quality Organization, Aisha is an individual who takes on personal development challenges as a learning opportunity, she has recently achieved her prestigious professional designation of Certified Internal Auditor. Her experience managing the Quality Function for six years and accumulated 16 years of auditing experience in Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality, along with her ability to mentor and guide teams, reflects her strong collaborative and communication skills. Add to this, her dedication to maintain high-quality standard procedures and alignment with the ethos of IWS has been an asset of the organization.

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  • Hripsime Danielyan

    Hripsime Danielyan is a dedicated volunteer and board member with the aim of providing opportunities for women immigrants and their families in Saskatoon. Leveraging her knowledge and experience, she is committed to contributing to the governance of an organization dedicated to building a sustainable and inclusive Canadian economy.

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    Having actively participated in initiatives promoting gender equality, cultural diversity, and community development, Hripsime has built her career in the field of Data Science, advocating for gender diversity in a landscape where women are underrepresented. She champions the active participation of women across various sectors and has dedicated her time to volunteering in cultural and entrepreneurship programs at organizations like International Women of Saskatoon.

    Furthermore, she is a co-founder of a Healthcare startup focused on leveraging Artificial Intelligence technologies to enhance the quality of life for children and women with developmental disabilities. She is an active member of the International Women’s Business Hub and the Saskatchewan startup community. Her educational background includes a Master of Science in Business and Economics with a major in Business Administration, a PMP certificate, and a Diploma in Data Science.

    With over 7 years of experience in Healthcare and IT, she has developed strong leadership, management, HR, entrepreneurial, and strategic planning skills. She currently holds the position of Core HR Module Lead in a major provincial healthcare project at the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

    She resonates deeply with the commitment to International Women of Saskatoon to foster a diverse and inclusive community that supports and empowers women. Her skills, experiences, and passion align well with the organization’s mission and core values which contribute to its strategic vision.

    Her dedicated services on the Board and her enthusiasm have played a crucial role in providing immense support and platforms to Saskatoon women immigrants. Her efforts aim to make a significant impact on the lives of women in Saskatoon by addressing unique challenges and creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.

    Hripsime’s commitment to fostering diversity, gender equality, and community empowerment aligns with the mission of International Women of Saskatoon, and her contributions are instrumental in advancing the organization’s goals.

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  • Maryam Amjad

    Maryam Amjad demonstrates a commitment to enhancing strategic goals and optimizing data management processes. Her proactive approach to change and her ability to identify areas for improvement reflect a vision for continuous progress and excellence.

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    She is well-equipped to contribute to various aspects of leadership, cultural diversity, business management, and strategic planning, particularly within the context of women empowerment, education, and settlement assistance.

    In various roles at FCL, Maryam has showcased a visionary approach by actively seeking opportunities for process improvements and efficiency enhancements. As an Accounting Technician, she implemented innovative solutions for reconciling expenses and clearing GL codes, demonstrating a forward-thinking mindset. In her capacity as an Accounting Support Supervisor, Maryam strategically streamlined processes for retail vendors’ payments, patronages, and equity transactions, contributing to overall efficiency.

    Maryam’s strategic thinking has proven instrumental in navigating complex tasks, ensuring compliance with internal controls, and fostering seamless collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders. The services outlined by IWS, spanning education, counseling, settlement services, language assessment, referral and instruction, employment training, job search programs, seniors’ programs, computer training, skills development training, and women’s support groups, align seamlessly with Marlena’s extensive experience. Her leadership skills position her valuable in addressing the diverse needs of women immigrants, and refugees and their families.

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  • Qunying (Suzie) Xue

    Suzie's deep understanding of the challenges faced by newcomers, coupled with her personal experience of settling in Canada, reflects a commitment to supporting community members, especially women, in navigating the complexities of the settlement process. As a woman entrepreneur, she aims to share her experiences to help newcomers understand Canadian workplace culture and succeed in their new positions. Her background as an immigration consultant, dealing with settlement issues daily, has made her familiar with the needs of newcomers coming to Saskatoon.

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    In the past, Qunying Xue worked in the NPO for educational management for over 10 years. Her responsibilities included assessing teachers’ performance, organizing various competitions for students and teachers, and drafting research reports for the municipal education bureau. Since obtaining the license of a Canadian immigration consultant in 2015, she started her own business, providing legal immigration consultation on various programs and related services. As a small business owner, she has faced challenges such as employee turnover, cost control, peer competition, policy changes, and more.

    Despite the challenges, she has successfully navigated the complexities of entrepreneurship and continues to thrive. Her willingness to share her stories and experiences is geared towards assisting newcomers, especially those interested in establishing businesses in Saskatchewan. In her capacity, she focuses on advocating for and investigating matters related to services provided to women by government agencies, addressing their settlement needs and employment opportunities.

    She emphasizes the importance of understanding employment and working conditions in Canada, particularly for newcomers. She highlights the challenges faced by women immigrants and their families, in seeking and retaining suitable jobs, including issues related to the recognition of foreign education, acquiring local work experience, and verifying professional licenses. These challenges underscore the importance of addressing barriers to employment for newcomers and ensuring equitable opportunities for everyone in the workforce.

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  • Bassant Farag

    Ms. Farag, a current board member of International Women of Saskatoon organization, brings valuable expertise in Microsoft applications, Oracle ERP systems, and project management software. Her professional experience in construction management involves effectively managing and executing multi-million-dollar projects, from planning and procurement to overseeing contractual agreements, execution, quality, and project deliverables.

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    She has also contributed as a volunteer English class teacher assistant at Global Gathering, Saskatoon, where she interacted with people from diverse ethnicities, lifestyles, and backgrounds. Through this experience, she learned the importance of compassion in fostering harmony and acceptance, and powerful role of women, and emphasizing shared humanity despite differences.

    Ms. Farag’s commitment to a feminist and anti-oppressive approach within the context of newcomer, immigrant, and refugee women involves recognizing their diverse experiences, addressing systemic inequalities, and working towards empowerment and social justice. This approach underscores the importance of collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and dismantling barriers to eliminate discrimination and oppression.

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