How an Afghanistan HR Leader Uses Skills from Our Mentoring and Leadership Workshop

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Zarghoona Aslami

Zarghoona Aslami

I work with the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IRCSC) in Afghanistan. My agency creates change in the civil service administration. Our main role is recruiting senior-level civil servants around the country. As a policy maker, we create the laws and policies for all ministries /civil servants agencies. We also offer government employees and university graduates training in communication, English, management, leadership, computers and others. For example, the Gender Training Center teaches women how to write a resume, answer interview questions and prepare for a career. Eventually, I hope to rise to a senior leadership position in the Afghanistan government. In a decision-making role, I would like to revamp the traditional, male-dominated society and end women’s battles to gain freedom and other basic human rights.

Why I Attended the Workshop
I wanted to build my leadership and mentoring skills by attending the workshop “Women as Political Leaders.” Since then, my views about management and leadership have changed. For me, the key learning outcomes included how to plan and manage a program and handle problems. The workshop also stressed the importance of listening, offering encouragement, and talking with more confidence in meetings.

Zarghoona Aslami leads HR leadership meeting

I lead the meetings for HR Managers from all ministries and agencies.

Networking Streamlines My HR Activities
Before the workshop, I had only used Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook to network for personal use. But the workshop promoted online networking as a rich, trustworthy resource. Now, I use them to work with leaders, HR managers, IT specialists, and other professionals. For example, HR management systems are just entering Afghanistan, and so few experts exist in my area. With LinkedIn, I have met other HR professionals who have provided feedback on these systems and insight on the various brands. I learned how businesses use these to streamline their HR activities. I also joined some LinkedIn groups for IT professionals where members are working on their government’s Internet infrastructure. Finally, I created a Facebook page where our members can share information.

At the workshop, a woman from Microsoft told me how they use their Management Information System. It was interesting to hear how a global company does it.


Thanks to the workshop, I feel comfortable training a staff of mostly men.

How I Learned to Train My Staff

Using the information from the workshop and other professionals, I started a three-day program to train my human resource officers. The goal is to teach all the HR officers and Managers on how to use the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) countrywide. In my ministry, the men outnumber the women but everyone shows me respect. I am knowledgeable, treat people fairly and follow traditional practices. For example, I wear long skirts and big scarves and talk in the official languages of Dari and Pashto.

My Family Supports Me
I feel fortunate that my immediate and extended family supports my passion. My father, who studied in the U.S. and traveled extensively, has always promoted education. He has encouraged all his children to use their talents to serve others and their country. As the household decision-maker, my father has played a critical role in launching my career. My mother, who also has formal education, provides tremendous support. My champion, she continues to inspire and push me beyond limits.

About the Attendee
Ms. Zarghoona Aslami, HRMIS /CSMD/IARCSC, is the acting director of the Afghan government’s Human Resources Management Information System. She leads 30 staff members. The team rolled out a new human resources database system in 30 agencies that improved the ability to track and manage employees. Ms. Aslami also provides training and customer service support to individual ministries. She has developed a five-year plan to complete and install the system in all ministries and in all provinces.

Learn more about the World Affairs Council’s International Visitor Program here.

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