3 Questions with Maryam Saif, CEO and Co-Founder of PANTHEA

March 8, 2024

I recently had the joy of talking to Maryam Saif about her organisation, the trends she's observing in the workplace right now and also how she's found working with us at Sten10!

Maryam is an award-winning leader in the DE&I space and specialises in empowering young people who are entering the working world for the first time.


Please introduce yourself and your organisation

With over 12 years of experience in the Middle East, primarily focused on graduate development, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as youth empowerment, I've come to recognise a significant gap between graduates entering the workforce and their readiness in terms of skills, behavioural alignment, and meeting regional expectations. Often, graduates expect quick advancement, influenced by portrayals on social media, leading to potential dips in motivation when reality doesn't align with these expectations. This realisation prompted the creation of Panthea and Futurity graduate development programs. We use positive psychology to align personal aspirations with company vision, build resilience, and leverage mindfulness to propel both career growth and overall aspirations. Our focus remains on transforming youth in the Middle East, ensuring that individuals are not just employed but truly engaged in their work.

What are the key trends and challenges you're seeing?

The future of work demands a new set of skills compared to the past. Organisations need to recognise this and adapt their training and development programs to equip employees with the necessary capabilities for the evolving landscape.

Traditional disciplinary boundaries are blurring in the era of the "creative economy." Identifying and developing cross-functional skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability will be crucial for success.

The way leadership is experienced by young professionals shapes their long-term perspectives. Setting clear norms that prioritise collaboration, innovation, and connection builds a more engaged and productive work environment. Leaders who actively demonstrate these values set a positive example and combat presenteeism.

There's also a growing focus on resilience and strengths in the workplace. It's crucial to recognise how much pressure employees can handle before getting to the point of burnout and exhaustion. Drawing inspiration from performance athletes, organisations can develop a culture of resilience and power, ensuring employees thrive rather than merely survive in the workplace.

How have you found working with Sten10 so far?

Working with Sten10 has been a pleasure due to the trust they've instilled in us and their attentive approach to understanding our needs. They've closely collaborated with us to ensure our goals are met, offering tailored solutions and incorporating feedback iteratively. Their structured project management approach and adherence to timelines have made the experience seamless.

 Please reach out if you'd like to learn more!

Katie Thomas