When Roszanah Abdul Salim took over Muhammadiyah Health and Day Care Centre (MHDCC) as Chief Executive Officer in August last year, Singapore had just entered Phase 2 of Covid-19 restriction measures. But it was during this pandemic that the 39-year-old, who is also the General Secretary of Muhammadiyah Association, saw the magnanimity of the community. She tells us more in an e-mail interview.
Tell us more about your background. How did you get into Community Care and what made you stay?
I have been volunteering in Social Service Agencies (SSA) since I was a teenager. The experience and people I met made me feel that what I am doing is fulfilling. The thought of being able to help the community in whatever little ways I could inspired me to stay.
You took over right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. What has been the biggest takeaway you've had this past year?
Transparency leads to continuity and sustainability. When people are aware and clear of your cause, they will help and support you in order for you to continue and stay relevant. I have seen the magnanimity of our community during this pandemic and it also made us feel that our work is priceless. It's a testament to how the work we do has made a big and positive impact on our community.
What were at the top of your to-do list for MHDCC, and have you achieved it?
To strengthen our services to our current clients, educate the community about Community Care, and to branch out MHDCC services. I would say it’s almost there!
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would say I am a participative leader. I love to invoke creativity within my team, but at the same time, I am firm when it comes to making decisions.
Do you face challenges as a female leader in the sector? How do you navigate it?
Yes, challenges are inevitable. Over the years, I realised that challenges are just ways for us to learn new things and practise what we preach. Have patience and learn to see things through a different lens to get the best outcome!
What is one surprising thing people might not know about you?
I'm someone who is very committed to see each and every plan come together. When I put up a strong front, things get done, and maybe because of this, people usually see me as a fierce person. But I do have a soft side — I'm actually a soft-hearted person! (Laughs)