In this latest series of articles, we are publishing interviews of women who are working as a professional or a student in the technology sector. The objective is to highlight their work and contribution to the industry as well as to the community.
In these interviews, you will find women working in technology to solve real-world problems, to break stereotypes and to create the next big impact on the tech industry. This series of interviews shows that even with the lowest rate of women participation in the labor market in Pakistan, there are still lots of smart women who are creating and using technology to work wonders.
Today, we are featuring Dr. Zareen Zuhra . Read on to know more about her work and get inspired.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and your work.
I am Dr. Zareen Zuhra and I have done my Ph.D. from Beijing, China in December 2018, these days, I am doing my Post-doctorate from Shenzhen, China. I belong from a lower-middle-class family and I spent my childhood seeing my parents meet hand to mouth. I dreamt for an MBBS doctor but it couldn’t be successful due to financial issues and later I had to opt for B.Sc in a Govt college. In short, I made hard efforts to establish myself and my parents. I always dreamt that one day I will bring some positive change in society and this was initiated when I laid the foundation of my organization i.e. “Early Childhood and Parenting Education of Pakistan”.
The basic theme of this foundation is to help parents in the upbringing of children. Parenting education is the utmost need of this era as the upbringing of children are now not as simple in 2021 as it was before. Although I was alone when I started this initiative, now it has been strengthened by many highly qualified foreign specialists.
What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact it will have on the community/society/your team/your project?
I want to spread parenting education and early childhood importance awareness all over Pakistan and I want every parent (including fathers) should be aware of the right upbringing of their children. As a behavior researcher, I must say that we as a nation, have very little awareness of parenting and the right upbringing of our children. My project is going to play a deep positive role in society and people will get professional help from specialists. I have planned to expand this project to Parenting Magazine and workshops to create more awareness and understanding on this topic to the public. At the moment we are a team of seven highly qualified children behavior and educational experts and we are serving more than 10K people on daily basis on the Facebook forum.
Please brag about your career accomplishments, what are the things you are really proud of?
The biggest achievement I have gotten in my life as being a laborer daughter is that I am not ashamed of my past. I am very proud of what I was and what I am now. I have done my Ph.D. while supporting my family financially and morally. Meanwhile, I also grabbed an offer from the Punjab Public Service Commission as a senior subject specialist (BPS-17) and OGDCL. I had served the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission as a Junior Scientist (SPS-8) for 3 months but unfortunately, I had to resign from that position to continue my Ph.D. studies. In my Ph.D., I have published numerous international research articles and was a keynote speaker in many international conferences. I also bagged the best post-doctorate opportunity in one of the best universities in China with the highest position and advantages. Through all this journey I couldn’t forget to mention my ultimate support that is indeed my Husband, Dr. Shafqat Ali, and my parents.
What has been your best education/career decision and why?
I think my resignation from Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission as a Junior Scientist was the best decision in my life, because if I continued to pursue my career as an office job holder, then ultimately my creativity would likely stop, I believe in creativity and stress-free work and that was given by Ph.D. studies and research. I want to acknowledge that doing a Ph.D. was the best decision and it has polished me in many ways from personal to professional.
What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?
I would like to quote my saying here “In life you have to struggle, either you do it when young or keep doing it after. Struggles done when young, saves you from many old age problems/crises”. So, my clear vision on any forum and talk is to go through hardship and pray from Allah, Indeed He is the Best planner and He never wastes your tiny efforts.
Which woman inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my mother who stitches clothes just for the sake of our education and all those women who work hard. My friends, my team who not only support me in my journey but are also playing a key role in their careers, are also my inspiration. I appreciate that they are the best woman as they did what they were able to. Women are always incredible and, in our society, they have to suffer many other things. In my opinion, women are always inspiring either they are a mom, a daughter, a sister, and a wife. They are sacrificing and working hard to keep happy their surroundings around.
Do you think Pakistan has changed as a society, in terms of accepting career-oriented women? What needs to change to help more women come forward?
Yes, Pakistan has changed a lot, people have accepted women in different careers, I remembered, it was impossible for women to do business, bank jobs, office jobs, etc. just 10-15 years back, but now women are inspiring and shining in every field. I am very happy to see that our women are becoming more confident and responsible towards society and believe me, now no parent wishes for a son (his/her right hand in terms of earning) but a daughter indeed for her love, care, and responsibilities. Its high time for women to focus on their education and especially a career-oriented education, that can help them to grow as equal as men in terms of financial independence.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge for Pakistani women is to manage their career and home at the same time. They have to excel in their career and as well as in the community. They want to be the best mom at the same time managing their 9-5 job and also have to serve gatherings. I am amazed and admire the power of Pakistani women and all the women throughout the world. My platform is also the biggest support to all those mommies who want to manage their job and kids and let them be a better part of the future.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?
The vision for women, I believe, Allah has put a lot more potential in women and they have amazing power to manage business, homes, and society. I am looking forward to all incredible women to take this step and make things easier for other women.
How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?
I admire the power of WomenInTechPK, this platform has empowered women. Supporting and encouraging a woman means you are raising a whole nation. This platform gives a true inspiration to many women, and I am blessed to be a part of this forum and community and I wish that this journey shall continue and we raise and rise together.
You can join me in parenting venture and seek professional help (free of any cost) from my Facebook group forum “Early Childhood and Parenting Education Of Pakistan”
You can follow Dr. Zareen Zuhra using her profiles below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project