By Siham Berrached, Managing Director, Emakina Qatar
IT and tech has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. This certainly isn’t down to a lack of female talent – rather the fact that historically such industries have always been led by men. In our younger years, it quite uncommon to be influenced by our parents or teachers to pursue a career in tech or IT. This ordinarily means that as we grow up as women, and become more exposed to the working world – we are often phased by the industry – down to a lack of exposure to it in our formulative years.
From a personal perspective, being a woman in a ‘man’s world’ has never really been a struggle. Despite that, it’s no secret that the majority of key decision makers do remain to be men. However, it’s interesting to see that from a creative and emotional stand-point – there’s no denying that women bring a lot to the industry. Women tend to have a natural finesse making them more cognisant of needs. One thought I often ponder on is that a team of male engineers for instance would always benefit from having a woman present to act as the ‘glue’ in any operation.
Looking forward – we’re making some great strides. In the UAE for example, 23,000 Emirati businesswomen are running projects worth over AED50 billion, and also occupy 15% of the positions in the boards of chambers of commerce and industry nationwide. In Saudi Arabia, women’s participation rate in the IT sector rose from 11% in 2017 to 24% in 2021. This is something that would have been unthought of just a short while ago.
We’ve also seen tangible movement in the technology industry of Qatar- Microsoft and INJAZ Qatar recently launched “Women Technopreneurs” which aims to empower, assist and guide women who are interested in the digital and technology sector.