Nikita Naz Siddique is an accounting and finance BA student at Dublin City University (DCU). Like many of her cohorts, she saw DCU as the perfect place to continue her education but Siddique had a very unique set of challenges to overcome in getting to that point, so she outlined at Inspirefest 2018 during the ‘Next Generation: The Future is Now’ session.
Siddique explained that she belongs to a very conservative family where children are not allowed total autonomy when it comes to life decisions. In her culture, parents always determine each child’s career path. Despite this, Siddique was always determined that she would pursue her studies here in Ireland.
“Gender discrimination is still there throughout Asia, including my home nation of Bangladesh where marital and employment opportunities are highly restricted for women,” said Siddique. “I dared to dream.”
It took Siddique years to work up the courage to tell her family about her aspiration to study abroad. Though they accepted it, it wasn’t easy on any of them. Siddique recalled the tears smarting in her mother’s eyes as she dropped her to the airport. She remembered how her heart briefly begged her to stay, yet her mind compelled her to stay the course.
Later, when visiting Ireland, Siddique’s mother proudly beamed that she is glad her daughter didn’t heed her protestations.
This alerted Siddique to her “inner capabilities”, she said. It made her realise her desire to promote gender empowerment and mental health all around the world. For her efforts, she was recently awarded the International Women’s Day prize at DCU Business.
Siddique would have never been able to envision these things for herself had she not maintained her faith in her ability to make her dreams a reality. Now that she has found her platform, her message is clear: believe in yourself, and support the dreams of those around you as if they were your own to further create positive change in the world.
Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event celebrating the point where science, technology and the arts collide. Ultra Early Bird tickets for Inspirefest 2019 are available now.
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