Whether Rabia Garib, Editor-in-Chief of CIO Pakistan, is playing her guitar and singing to enthusiastic moppets in her Kahani Time sessions at The Second Floor (T2F) or having a discussion with professionals from the IT industry, there is something absolutely contagious about her energy. Always dressed in a crease-free shalwar kameez and her trademark kohlapuris, it’s almost impossible to find a frown on Gharib’s cosmetic-free face. The secret behind it all, she explains is: “I work a lot, but I love every bit of it.”
And there’s good reason to love what she does. It was because of her representation as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2011 that the world’s largest technology business leadership magazine brand CIO was brought to Pakistan. Additionally, she is the Chief Wrapper of Toffee TV, which is an initiative that seeks to entertain children through songs, stories and activities in Urdu. Besides this, she is also co-founder of Rasala Publications which runs IT trade publications. She is also an active blogger and an experienced TV anchor who has hosted numerous technology and music related shows on leading channels. In 2011, she was also presented with the Ladiesfund Trailblazer Award, an honour given to acknowledge and celebrate the top female role models and achievers in Pakistan.
With all these accomplishments, it doesn’t come as a big shock that work always takes precedence over everything else in her life. As a self-proclaimed hardcore workaholic, she believes that family life always suffers when a person is dedicated to their job. And this equation only works out if the family is understanding and supportive.
In Garib’s case, her conservative family, especially her mother, has backed her every step of the way. While her mother was a housewife herself, she never objected to Garib pursuing her professional ambitions. And Rabia found this unwavering source of support early on in her childhood.
“My father wanted me to study in an all-girls school. However, when my brother got admission at the Karachi American School (KAS), my mother said that if her son got to go there, so would her daughter. For the rest of my life, that’s always been my pretext for everything,” she said.
When asked whether a working woman has to tradeoff her family life to be successful, she said, “It primarily depends on the kind of work you do. In my case, and especially because of the kind of work I do, there is a tradeoff. The IT sector works 24/7 which is why I have to work 24/7,” says Garib.title