We recently sat down with Rahila Saeed, USOBU patient services marketing lead, to learn more about her background – both on and off the clock. Read on to learn how her life has led her to a career with Takeda.
Do you shed your identity the second you walk through your office doors? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
Sometimes it’s a way to set boundaries; there can be benefits in separating your personal life from your professional life. But other times it’s because of fear – fear that your company or colleagues may not accept the authentic “you.”
At Takeda, we reject this mentality. It is only through seeing the entire individual that we can tap into people's unique experiences and perspectives to create a brighter future for our patients. Differences don’t make you an outcast here – they make you an asset.
We recently sat down with Rahila Saeed, USOBU patient services marketing lead, to learn more about her background – both on and off the clock.
Rahila's role at Takeda
At Takeda, Rahila’s main responsibility is raising awareness about our services to support the patient treatment journey and provide access to our transformative medicines. Her exemplary work caused her to be nominated for Women’s Unlimited IMpower, a 6 month, highly competitive program. She also completed her digital marketing certification and won the Takeda cup all in 2021.
Overcoming cultural biases
As a first-generation college graduate, Rahila has proven to be a nonconformist when it comes to overcoming cultural biases that are often attributed to many Pakistani women. This strong-willed nature was instilled in her from an early age by the women role models in her family, starting with her great grandmother, Allahjawaee.
Allahjawaee owned a crop and fabric business in Pakistan, but what she was really known for was her ardent philanthropic work. Her passion for helping others was passed down early in Rahila’s life and is at the heart of who she truly is.
Flash forward a bit to Rahila’s grandmother, Hamida who, with the help of her sister-in-law, bravely moved the family to America, enabling Rahila’s mother, Shahida, to be the first in her family to get an education. Shahida worked hard at night to become a certified nursing assistant and worked the night shift for 20+ years while raising four children.
She instilled her diligent work ethic into Rahila, teaching her an Urdu saying that roughly translates to ‘learn to hold yourself in your own arms, be your own advocate, stand strong, and speak your mind.’ She pushed Rahila to travel the world because being exposed to various cultures opens the mind and instills empathy. In fact, the name Rahila means ‘one who travels’ in Urdu.
"Learn to hold yourself in your own arms, be your own advocate, stand strong, and speak your mind."
Traditionally, most Pakistani women stay near their parents until they marry, but Rahila’s parents saw her passion for learning and supported her desire to break the mold, despite opposition from others, by being a 1st-generation college graduate and continuing to pursue her graduate education, which ultimately led her to her role at Takeda today.
The impact of support
Being surrounded by those that push and inspire her has allowed Rahila to not only thrive at Takeda but follow her passions. Her dedication to helping others is seen in her pursuits of philanthropic endeavors that focus on animal welfare and humanitarian work. For more than two years now, she has volunteered on the ASPCA regional field team. She’s an advocate for ocean conservation. In the past, she was a Medical Advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She supported end-stage AIDS patients and older adults facing financial exploitation.
Rahila’s dreams and life pursuits would not have been possible without having amazing women in the family she could emulate and admire who helped her along the way. We are a stronger organization because she is here.
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