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Q&A with Laila Faridoon

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Laila Faridoon, Digital Transformation and AI and Bigdata Analytics Strategy.

Role Models: 

Were there any role models or mentors who played a pivotal role in your tech career? How did they influence your path? 

Throughout my tech career, I've been fortunate to have several mentors who played pivotal roles in shaping my journey. One mentor, in particular, was a consultant whom I worked with in my early career. She not only provided me with technical guidance but also taught me important soft skills like effective communication and project management. 

Her mentorship significantly influenced my approach to problem-solving and teamwork. I learned to approach challenges with a strategic mindset and to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams. She also encouraged me to pursue professional development opportunities and supported me in obtaining certifications that boosted my expertise. The impact of her mentorship has been enduring. I still apply the lessons learned from her, especially in leading project teams and fostering a collaborative work environment. I attribute much of my career growth and achievements to her mentorship, and I continue to value the principles she instilled in me as I progress in my tech career. 

Diversity in Tech: 

In your opinion, why is it crucial to have more women and diverse groups represented in technology roles? 

I believe that promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in technology roles is not just a matter of equity; it's also a strategic imperative that leads to better innovation, decision-making, and societal outcomes. Diversity brings different perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table, which is more likely to generate innovative solutions and solve complex problems. Furthermore, increased representation of women and diverse groups in technology roles serves as inspiration and encouragement for aspiring individuals from similar backgrounds. Role models demonstrate that success in tech is achievable for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background. 

Organizations that prioritize diversity reap the benefits of a more dynamic and inclusive workforce, ultimately driving greater success and impact in the tech industry and beyond. 

Encouraging the Next Generation: What advice would you give to young girls who are interested in STEM but might be hesitant to pursue it due to the gender gap? 

I would say first, believe in yourself and then find a role model and seek out communities and networks that support women in STEM. Connect with other girls and women who share your interests and aspirations. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can provide encouragement, guidance, and a sense of belonging. Also explore different areas of STEM to find out what interests you most. Discovering your passion can fuel your determination to pursue a STEM career. Then invest time in developing your STEM skills and knowledge. Also remember the positive impact that STEM can have on society. Embrace the opportunity to contribute to meaningful advancements, innovations, and solutions that benefit people and the planet. Finally, celebrate your achievements, recognize your growth and accomplishments, and inspire others by sharing your journey as a woman in STEM. By embracing these principles and taking proactive steps, young girls can confidently pursue their passions in STEM and contribute to building a more inclusive and equitable future in technology and beyond. 

Future Trends: What emerging technologies or trends are you most excited about, and how do you see them impacting the role of women in the tech industry? 

There are several emerging technologies and trends that hold great potential to impact the role of women in the tech industry in positive ways. I personally pursued my PhD in the field of big data analytics. Big data is considered as the core of Artificial Intelligent (AI). AI is transforming various industries, from healthcare to finance to education. Women can play a crucial role in shaping the future of AI by contributing diverse perspectives and ethical considerations. As AI becomes more integrated into society, there will be increasing demand for skilled professionals, including women, to develop and implement AI solutions. 

Another trend that is rising up is the Tech Entrepreneurship and Startups, the rise of tech entrepreneurship provides women with opportunities to launch startups and disrupt industries. Women-led startups are addressing gaps in the market, empowering female founders, and attracting investment. Initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs in tech are essential for fostering diversity and innovation in the startup ecosystem. 

In general, the impact of the emerging technologies on the role of women in tech will depend on inclusive practices, mentorship, and advocacy for gender diversity. As women continue to pursue careers in these transformative fields, they will contribute to shaping the future of technology and driving positive societal change. It's essential to nurture talent, provide equal opportunities, and celebrate the achievements of women in tech to create a more inclusive and equitable industry landscape. 


Policy and Change: 

What policies or initiatives do you think are most effective in promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the tech sector? 

Promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the tech sector requires a multifaceted approach involving organizational policies, industry initiatives, educational programs, and societal efforts. Based on my experience and knowledge,

I suggest here some policies and initiatives that can foster gender diversity and inclusion in tech: 

  1. Diversity and Inclusion Policies. 

  2. Gender-Neutral Recruitment and Hiring Practices. 

  3. Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs. 

  4. Training and Education on Unconscious Bias. 

  5. Flexible and remote Work Policies. 

  6. Promotion of Female Leadership. 

  7. Support for Women in STEM Education. 

I think by implementing this kind of policies and initiatives, organizations and stakeholders can create a more inclusive and equitable tech sector that harnesses the full potential of diverse talent and drives innovation and growth. 

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