Faiza Yousuf of WomenInTechPK
by Zainab Nasir
Your city: Karachi
What drives you?(What makes you so passionate about your work?)
We all have the capacity to change lives and when my work makes even a tiny bit of positive change, it drives me to do more. When I contribute, I know that it is bound to create a ripple effect towards betterment, and that motivates me.
How did you get here and how long have you been in this profession (or been doing what you do)?
I started my career as a Software Quality Engineer back in December 2009 and since than I have been working in the tech industry. I have progressed from junior to senior and to management roles very quickly and it all happened because I have had great people around me. I started my consultation company in August 2014 after resigning from a Project Management position. The consultation we give is usually in two areas, we help small businesses (mostly women led) to be technology enabled and we also work with entrepreneurs and businesses to help them evaluate their Tech products (Software Testing).
Last year, I started a community building project for Women who are directly or indirectly connected to our local Tech industry. The community has been growing exponentially and we have over 1500 members in it where these women talk about issues, share opportunities and resources and form collaborations. We also did our first focus group to talk about the issues that women face in the work place and about building a road map for doing more.
What has been your vision and what do you most love about your work?
I have always envisioned myself to be a change catalyst. I love to take up new challenges, solve complex problems and to get things done. That’s what I do every day.
What do you think is your biggest achievement throughout your professional journey?
I don’t think I have reached there yet.
What are your current projects and what do you plan on doing in the near future?
#WomenInTechPK (https://www.facebook.com/groups/WomenInTechPK/) – I want to formalize the community and to move ahead with the plans.
OuttaBox (https://www.facebook.com/OuttaBoxPK/) –To add more services and clientsfor our consultation work.
Teaching and Training – I teach at Iqra University and FAST-NUCES. I want to work with the academic heads to improve our tech curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students. I am also working with Aurat Foundation’s Gender Equity Program (funded by USAID) in collaboration with IBA, my part is to train women home based workers on IT skills.
A word of advice you would like to pass on to other women struggling with their start-ups?
Be part of a community, get a mentor, find your tribe and connect with it.