Some of the best things about my job - Asma's blog marking Ramadan
My name is Asma Begum, I’m an Employee Relations Advisor and I’ve been working at Anchor for four and a half years. Being able to help make Anchor a great place to work by supporting managers and colleagues, and living the values of the organisation are some of the best things about my job.
This year, Ramadan starts on or around 22 March 2023. Ramadan encompasses more than fasting. It’s about disconnecting from worldly things and making us more grounded so that we can give appreciation and understanding to those who aren’t as privileged as us. This is something that continues throughout the year by learning about my faith, helping others, and contributing to charities. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is zakat (Charity), and for me, that’s a big part of what observing Ramadan means. Charity and helping others is an important part of my identity and faith. Whether it’s giving up time, money, or thoughts, there is a focus on helping and serving others during Ramadan.
The fasting ‘day’ begins before sunrise (Sehri) and ends at dusk (Iftaar). No food or water is consumed during this period, but the evening is filled with family get togethers, food and reflection.
This is a month filled with spiritually allowing me to strengthen my relationship with my faith. It allows me to improve as a person by reading and reflecting on the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the direct revelation from Allah (God) through the prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).
Working at Anchor has made it easier for me to observe Ramadan because it’s supported me throughout. The nature of my work means that I can be flexible around prayers (Namaaz), but also in taking comfort breaks through the day. The biggest challenge for me during Ramadan is not being able to have coffee. Most importantly, though, Anchor’s culture makes a difference. I feel comfortable in asking for these accommodations if I need them because my manager and my team are aware of the purpose of Ramadan and understand and acknowledge what it means for me. I strongly believe that with such diversity in the world and in the workplace, it is how you treat others and your kindness that defines you as a person. Anchor enables and encourages this culture of warmth, making it an inclusive and diverse place to work.
The values and behaviours that Anchor’s culture relies on enables me to bring my true authentic self to work every day. The Networks play a large part in raising awareness, sharing information, and making safe space for open and honest conversations.
Asma Begum is an Employee Relations Advisor at Anchor