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 Fizzah Mumtaz. 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 was born in Karachi and did all my schooling there. I graduated from NED University of Engineering and Technology in 2013 and have been working in the tech industry for 5+ years.
I started my career at Systems Limited as an Associate Software Developer, and it was the best possible start for my professional career. I worked there for two and a half years. In early 2017 I got married and relocated to Khairpur Mir’s, a small but historic city. Unfortunately, the IT market of Khairpur and nearby Sukkur city was small so I couldn’t find any suitable workplace which resulted in a break of a few months in my professional career. Those few months were difficult personally due to illness and then the demise of my beloved father and professionally for not working in software industry, however, I always have faith in Allah.
Miraculously my in-laws decided to move from Khairpur to Karachi. My career growth which was halted at that time was also one of the reasons for their decision and within six months and I was back to work. I joined HBL first and switched to 10Pearls (Pvt) Ltd soon after. At the end of the year 2018, I suffered another devastating loss due to the sudden death of my mother.
My life has been an emotional journey from 2017 till 2019 when I lost both my parents but there are things I have learned as well. I strongly believe in this verse from the Quran:
“But they plan and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of all planners”
Currently, I’m working as a Software developer in Next Retail UK, Leicester.
Please brag about your career accomplishments, what are the things you are really proud of?
Being a passionate programmer, I started my career as a .Net developer in 2014, in five years of experience I tried not only to polish technical skills but also my interpersonal skills as well because I believe that if you wanted to outshine in a workplace you need to be good at both.
Currently, I’m working as a full-stack developer.
In 2015 my project in Systems Limited got a team performance award, which is one of my memorable moment and now securing a full-time job in the UK is the proudest moment of all.
What has been your best education/career decision and why?
I still remember that day when I had an interview in NED to select field of interest, while walking on the aisle to the stage, my mind had a constant fight between CIS and telecom and I ended up in CIS. I am so happy with my decision of choosing IT sector, IT market has grown tremendously in last couple of years. You can get job opportunities in the tech industry in any part of the world.
I have moved to the UK a couple of months ago and I was worried in the start that it’s a whole new environment, how am I going to get a new role in there? But the good thing is I got it in within a month, after all, devs in Pakistan are no less in expertise.
What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact it will have on the community/society/your team/your project?
I wanted to grow further in my career by learning new skills. I believe in giving back to the community by volunteering. In future, I wish to provide a portal for online tuitions specifically for kids in underprivileged area so that they get learning opportunities.
What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?
There are a couple of life lessons I have learned with the time I have grown:
- Be positive/confident about the things you are working on, don’t be a victim of Imposter Syndrome. You should have courage to speak for the things which are not right.
- Always pay back to your community, help and mentor others in the best way possible.
- Balance your life between work and your loved ones, time is precious.
Which woman inspires you and why?
I have a great bunch of women around which inspires me in so many ways, starting from my mother who has raised all of us as a confident person because that’s what she believed that one should be confident enough to face every kind of situation in life, to my mother in law, the way she has raised all her kids in small town of Khairpur with such fewer facilities but all of them doing great in their lives.
I’m happy that I belong to a family where everybody invests in female education and empowerment. I inspire all the amazing ladies who are doing awesome work in their respective fields.
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?
I think yes, in the past couple of years Pakistan has evolved in overall as we have got more female representatives but still a long way to go. We can only progress once we have got that thing out of mind that women are only confined to house chores because I have seen there is still a great number of people in industry who have got this mindset.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
To prove themselves both in professional and family life. I believe this is the biggest challenge not only for the women behind us but also in the current world.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?
Office’s late sittings culture, I wish I could do something for that because since the day I have started working in the UK I have realized that how badly we lack work-life balance in Pakistan.
How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?
WomenInTechPK is a great initiative I must say, a safe platform for women in IT to discuss the problems and get solutions right away. I love the webinars conducted by the community which helps a lot in learning new stuff.
You can follow Fizzah Mumtaz using her profiles below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.