As a senior employer engagement executive with Daughters Of Tomorrow, Nur Ashikin Binte Reduwan finds joy in supporting underprivileged women and enabling their families.

Soon after landing this job, she signed up for the DOT Confidence Curriculum. Designed to help participants rediscover their talents and learn about new possibilities, these workshops aim to teach them skills such as communications.

“I wanted to have a better understanding of what we do and how it impacts our beneficiaries,” says Nur Ashikin, whom her colleagues affectionately call “Shikin”. This was especially since it was her first role in the social service sector – she previously worked in customer service.

As it turns out, she adds: “DOT Confidence Curriculum was an eye-opener, and made me want to try my best to help these women.”

Founded in 2014, Daughters Of Tomorrow has supported more than 1,100 women in Singapore through skills training, job bridging and befriending programmes. These women come from families that earn between $200 and $650 per month, and struggle to break out of unemployment and poverty.

By connecting them to volunteers and community resources, Daughters Of Tomorrow further increases job opportunities for these women. This empowers them to achieve financial independence and fulfil their potential.  

Nur Ashikin Binte Reduwan, a senior employer engagement executive with Daughters Of Tomorrow, says many women limit their career goals and aspirations due to low self-esteem. To enable employers to better empathise with this, her team organises poverty sensitisation workshops.   

More than a year into her job, Shikin, 32, says she’s learnt so much. Having to work with both beneficiaries and employer partners, for instance, means good interpersonal skills is crucial.

Empathy is also necessary. Says the mother-of-two: “Don’t discriminate or make judgements too quickly. We never know what lies behind every decision.”   

What are your key job responsibilities?  

I’m a member of the Employer Engagement team. By identifying job opportunities that best meet the needs and aspirations of our beneficiaries and helping to connect them to potential employers, we support their return to the workforce.

We serve as a bridge between our beneficiaries and empathetic employer partners to ensure that the women can sustain their jobs. For instance, we check in constantly with the women to assess how they are doing at the workplace.      

We also reach out to and network with new employer partners – this allows them to better understand the women that we serve.

What is the biggest challenge that beneficiaries of Daughters Of Tomorrow must overcome to re-enter the workforce? How can employer partners support them?

Many women struggle with low self-esteem so they tend to limit their goals and aspirations. We try our best to make the experience smoother by encouraging new employer partners to attend our poverty sensitisation workshops.   

During these simulation workshops, employer partners get to live a day in the life of a Daughters Of Tomorrow beneficiary. They also get to make decisions and choices based on what little resources these women have.

Many employers have shared feedback that the experience was humbling for them. They hadn’t been aware that such decisions, which may come as easy for some, would be that difficult for our beneficiaries. 

Most memorable experience?

One of our beneficiaries wrote a letter to President Halimah Yacob to say how much Daughters Of Tomorrow has helped her. I feel humbled yet proud knowing that someone appreciates and acknowledges the work we do.

What else can the public do to help these women and their families? 

You can start small, such as volunteering at our events. Or, become a childminder with our Home-Based Childminding Programme. The after-hours childminding service you provide will allow beneficiaries to seek employment opportunities or go for skills training. This helps to support their back-to-work journey greatly.   

You have a son and a daughter aged 7 and 5 respectively. What do you want to teach them about helping others? 

I always remind them to be kind, in both words and actions. Never partake in bullying even if it seems like fun. Be a friend to others instead. Everyone has his or her own struggle, and we shouldn’t contribute to that.

You can help to empower women and enable families through various programmes: Befriender, Volunteer Childminder, Supportive Employer, Poverty Sensitisation Workshops, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Donation/Fundraising. Find out more about these opportunities at Daughters Of Tomorrow here.

Photography: Studio Aeonz
Set Styling and Creative Direction: BDVA
Clothing and Accessories: Interviewee’s own
Makeup and Hair: Fifty Shades Makeup Academy
Products: COTY Inc.