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 Khushaar Tanveer . 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 a Software Engineer and got my Engineering degree from NED University. Since I was a child, I have been raised in an independent household where I was encouraged to find my own way. I started freelancing way before I began my career in IT. I started writing blogs and articles when I was just 16 and when I was introduced to Computer Science I moved towards technical writing.
I have been passionate about Computer Sciences since I was in high school and made up my mind very early on that this is something I see myself doing for a very long time. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to learn about this field through my bachelor’s degree.
I started working as a Business Analyst and worked my way up to Product Management and have worked in some renowned IT companies of Karachi.
What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact it will have on the community/society/your team/your project?
As I said, I plan to stay in this line of work for a very long time. My plans include getting global certifications in product management, working on projects with new and futuristic technologies, and keeping myself updated about the latest advancements in IT (which are happening quite rapidly)
Please brag about your career accomplishments, what are the things you are really proud of?
I started my career with a few startups and hit many bumps on the way and faced failures but learned to grow from it. There is no shame in accepting that you made mistakes because they are a part of your professional as well as personal development.
Working with startups is challenging in its own way but I continued to push through it whilst continuing my freelance work. I had started earning a good sum since I was very young, so much so that when I started my full time IT job, the compensation seemed negligible, but that didn’t deter me.
I gave my best shot at every opportunity I was given and since then, I have been a part of some very prominent IT companies of Pakistan like Folio3 and Techlogix.
Apart from that, I successfully found a balance between work and home. I am a housewife as well as a product manager and apart from working professionally, I love to cook and do so on a daily basis.
What has been your best education/career decision and why?
My best educational decision has been choosing IT because when I joined this field, it wasn’t too acclaimed. I had been pushed towards choosing a different path but I decided to trust my own instincts and they paid off.
My best career decision has been to never prioritize money over mental peace. You will never be satisfied with your job unless you achieve a healthy work-life balance.
What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?
Trust your instincts. If something feels right despite everybody saying otherwise, do not deter. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, it would leave you with an impressionable lesson that will always stick with you.
Which woman inspires you and why?
Most recently, Jacinda Ardern. She is the epitome of women empowerment and has inspired me to push myself to do more. She has proved that women do not need to choose between one aspect of life or the other.
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?
Has it changed? Yes. It is enough? No.
We still need to go a long way to normalize career-oriented women. The biggest reason I have personally seen which pushes women to quit their careers is starting a family. We can normalize maternity leaves and having in-house daycare facilities in workplaces which I am sure would drastically change the ratio of men vs. women employments.
Apart from that, the more successful career-oriented women the younger generation sees, the stronger impact it is going to leave in their minds.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Balancing work and home. A lot is expected from women in our culture, they are expected to single-handedly manage all aspects of domestic life while working (that too if they are allowed to work). This is a huge reason that discourages women and they either quit or don’t work professionally at all. If we support women at home and normalize them to make a living, it would contribute greatly to our society.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?
Discrimination. While I have seen some companies which are preferring to hire women now, but most of them are still hesitant, due to a common misconception that women don’t work as hard.
How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?
We can educate young women about the benefits of building a career of their own and how they can do that in Pakistan. We can educate them about the challenges they might face and help them be prepared for them.
You can follow Khushaar Tanveer using her profiles below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.