Women are a force to be reckoned with in the world of technology, breaking barriers and driving innovation in every corner of the industry. From coding and design to engineering and leadership, women are assuming significant roles in the tech landscape, transforming the way the industry operates and grows. But despite their impressive contributions, women still face unique challenges and obstacles in their careers, from battling gender bias to balancing work and home responsibilities.
In this captivating blog series, we embark on an insightful journey into the realm of Arbisoft's exceptional female talent. Join us as we introduce the remarkable women of Arbisoft and delve deeper into their individual stories within the world of technology.
In this exclusive edition, we have the privilege of uncovering the remarkable journey of Palwisha Akhtar, a senior software engineer at Arbisoft, whose story is nothing short of inspiring. Let’s step into Palwisha's world as she shares her transformative experience in her own powerful words.
From the moment I laid eyes on a computer as a wide-eyed six-year-old, I knew I had stumbled upon something extraordinary. As the youngest of three sisters in Pakistan, it was uncommon for our family to defy societal norms by pursuing careers outside of medicine. However, my fascination with computers propelled me on an unforgettable journey in the world of technology, with Arbisoft as my guiding light. Join me as I recount the trials, triumphs, and transformations I experienced along the way.
While my parents envisioned a future in medicine for me, my heart whispered a different path. Excelling in my A-Levels, I stood at a crossroads—engineering or medicine? It was the nascent stages of Pakistan's burgeoning IT industry that beckoned me toward a bold decision. Combining my passion for computers with the potential offered by the tech field, I chose to pursue a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, embracing the unknown with a fierce determination.
Amidst financial constraints, I had to forgo my dreams of studying abroad for a master's degree. Instead, I joined Arbisoft—a company that resonated with innovation, opportunities, and a progressive work culture. Little did I know that this decision would shape my future in ways I couldn't have imagined. From day one, Arbisoft proved to be a catalyst for my personal and professional growth, entrusting me with critical projects that pushed me to exceed expectations.
Arbisoft shattered the glass ceiling that often hampers gender diversity and inclusion in the tech industry in Pakistan. In a sector historically dominated by men, I found myself, a woman, leading a team of experienced professionals as a team lead. The unwavering support and belief in my abilities propelled me forward, boosting my confidence and reaffirming that competence knows no gender. Arbisoft's commitment to fostering a culture of equality empowered me to embrace challenges and seize opportunities.
Parallel computing emerged as a newfound passion during my time at Arbisoft. Fueling my thirst for knowledge, I yearned to pursue a master's in the field. However, the fear of leaving behind a company that had become my second family and the weight of financial responsibilities held me back. Fortunately, I was able to secure a fully funded master's program in Turkey. Remarkably, Arbisoft also extended their support by allowing me to work part-time, which alleviated the financial responsibilities I had back at home.
Life took an unexpected turn as I got married and relocated to Canada. The challenges of adjusting to a new country were met with exceptional support from Arbisoft. Recognizing the value of remote work, the company ensured a seamless transition, granting me the privilege to work from Canada with the same salary package and benefits as any other Canadian member. Arbisoft's commitment to members' well-being and growth transcended borders, solidifying my faith in its dedication to fostering excellence.
Encouraging women in tech is crucial for creating a more inclusive and diverse industry. Women have historically been underrepresented in technical fields, and the benefits of increasing their representation are numerous.
I suggest that introducing girls to technology at an early age through school programs and competitions and providing them with role models can spark their interest in pursuing tech careers. Additionally, companies can support women by compensating for commute expenses, offering flexible work hours, and providing in-house daycare facilities. Such measures can help attract and retain women in tech, ultimately leading to a more diverse and innovative industry.
In addition to the benefits of diversity and inclusivity, supporting women in tech can have significant economic impacts. By entering high-paying tech careers, women can contribute to closing the gender pay gap and gain financial independence.
Women's participation in the industry can also lead to the development of technology that addresses issues affecting women and other marginalized groups, promoting a more equitable society.
Ultimately, in my opinion, encouraging more women to succeed in tech is not only the right thing to do but is also essential for the growth and innovation of the industry and the broader economy.
To all the women venturing into the tech industry, remember that endless resources are at your disposal to learn and thrive. The tech field is a skill-based domain that transcends formal education, as exemplified by the success stories of numerous successful tech firms founded by college dropouts. However, beyond individual determination, the culture within the industry plays a pivotal role in shaping women's representation and success.
Arbisoft serves as a shining example of a company actively addressing the challenges faced by women in tech while creating equal opportunities for everyone. Their commitment to nurturing talent, stimulating diversity, and promoting excellence resonates at all levels of the organization. Women technical engineers hold leadership positions, providing invaluable mentorship and inspiration.
Arbisoft's culture celebrates individual capabilities, fostering an environment where talent and dedication flourish, regardless of gender.
Remember, your journey in tech is yours to shape, and with the right support and determination, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve remarkable success. Embrace the possibilities, for the tech industry is waiting to be transformed by your brilliance and vision.
Our impact in dismantling barriers and creating an environment where women thrive in the technology industry is profound. Through dedicated initiatives and practices that foster diversity and inclusivity, we are driving significant change. We are proud to have received the prestigious Gender Diversity Award at the P@sha ICT Awards 2022, a testament to our commitment to paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive future.