Different people interpret resilience differently. But we love Senior Consultant and Gender Equity Advocate Nurain Janah’s take on resilience.

Using a Maldivian proverb to explain her thinking, Nurain thinks of resilience as having your cup full. If your cup is full, then you are less likely to get shaken by challenges in life.

In this Power of Moving Forward interview, Nurain talks about the importance of living authentically to one’s true self and shares with us her take on resilient leadership. 

Interview notes

To help you get the best out of this Power of Moving Forward interview, here are some gold nuggets from Nurain:

And I think about resilience as your cup full or I will use a Maldivian proverb which says what is full will not shake. And that’s thinking about if you have your cup full, then you don’t get shaken by events or even if you think about confidence or knowing yourself, if you have that cup full, then you don’t shake.

… remaining hopeful for me is about the connections and the people in the community that I surround myself with.

… authenticity is one of my top and it’s how I try to show up all the time.

And I feel like we think about we think about the really the image that’s very positive on the Instagram stories about just living your best life, I guess, and showing that side of things. But I think there is so much and resilience and courage involved and being really authentic and showing up and saying, I’m struggling today and it’s not the most positive. But then also sharing that yes, I’m struggling today, but here’s what I’m doing to move forward or I’m struggling today, I need some help.

… each of our struggles is very and individual and how we feel it does different depending on what how we’ve grown up or our values and how we deal with things. That’s very individual and different.

… the best thing we can do to not compare struggles, because pain for one person might look like it’s more than the other person if you were to try and objectively assess those things. 

About Nurain Janah

[pronunciation: NOOR (OO like in zoo, R is pronounced here) + A (A pronounced like u in up) + IN (in same as usual); a recording can be provided]

Nurain currently works as a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young New Zealand. Having moved to Auckland from the small island country of the Maldives at a young age, she grew up as a proud Muslim Kiwi. After experiencing the barriers faced by young migrants and women of colour, she is now on a mission to create a more equitable world through storytelling, mentoring and influencing decision-makers through her governance and leadership roles.

She founded Authenticity Aotearoa, a social enterprise that empowers women from migrant and ethnic backgrounds to express their authentic selves and work with organisations to create culturally competent and inclusive workplaces.

Nurain volunteers in various governance roles for New Zealand charities, including as Trustee of the UpsideDowns Education Trust and Treasurer for 350 Aotearoa, the New Zealand arm of a global climate movement. She continues her involvement in global leadership with the Junior Chamber International (JCI), having served as one of only four women National Presidents in the Asia Pacific region. She was appointed onto the International Advocacy Committee for Europe at the 2019 World Congress of over 160 countries.

Nurain represented New Zealand at the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women advocating for young women of colour in the workplace. She was awarded the Waitematā Local Board Good Citizens Award for her work establishing the Waitematā Youth Collective in 2015 and was recognised as a finalist in the 2017 Women of Influence Awards.