In this latest series of articles, we are publishing interviews of women working as a professional or a student in the technology sector. The objective is to highlight their work and contribution to the industry and the community.

In these interviews, you will find women working in technology to solve real-world problems, break stereotypes, and 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 many smart women who are creating and using technology to work wonders.

Today, we are featuring Abroo Jalil. Read on to learn more about her work and get inspired.


1. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and your work.

Hey there, I’m Abroo Jalil, a Lead Software Engineer at Folio3 Software. Originally, I came from a cozy village near Rawalpindi. My family made the big leap to Karachi in 1996, chasing dreams and opportunities. It wasn’t an easy journey, but my father’s relentless drive ensured we stayed the course, especially when times got tough.

I earned my stripes at NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering. My journey in the tech world has been quite the ride. I specialize in crafting user experiences that make you go “wow” and exploring the fascinating world of machine learning to bring data-driven insights to the table.

At Folio3, I’ve added a sprinkle of innovation to our projects, blending the art of front-end development with the magic of machine learning. Beyond the code, I’m just a gal fueled by grit and a strong belief in the power of perseverance, a value passed down from my upbringing.


2. What are your plans/aspirations? How will it impact the community/society/your team/your project?

My plans and aspirations revolve around continuous growth and making a positive impact. I aim to keep pushing boundaries in my field, mastering new technologies, and honing my skills in both machine learning and front-end development.

Professionally, I aspire to become a mentor and leader, guiding and inspiring others on their journey in the tech world. I believe in fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment where everyone’s ideas are valued and respected.

In terms of impact, I strive to contribute meaningfully to my community and society. I’m passionate about giving back and plan to participate in training programs and workshops, especially those aimed at empowering women and underprivileged communities in tech. Whether it’s through innovative projects that address real-world challenges or by actively mentoring and uplifting others, I want to leave a positive mark. Additionally, within my team and projects, I aim to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence, where each member feels empowered to contribute their best work and where our collective efforts result in solutions that make a difference.


3. Please brag about your career accomplishments. What are the things you are proud of?  

Certainly, here are some career accomplishments I’m proud of:

Leadership at Folio3 Women’s Club: Serving as the President of the Folio3 Women’s Club has been a significant achievement. I’ve led initiatives focused on retention and empowerment of women within our organization, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Volunteer Work in Entertainment Cultural Committee: Being a key member of the Entertainment Cultural Committee has allowed me to contribute to the vibrant culture at Folio3. Organizing and participating in multiple fun activities has helped foster camaraderie and a sense of community among colleagues.

Participation in Katalyst Lab Women Fellowship Program: Being part of the Katalyst Lab Women Fellowship Program has been an enriching experience. It provided me with opportunities to connect with and learn from other women in tech, contributing to my personal and professional growth.

Organizing Internship and Career Reboot Program: Organizing and managing the internship and career reboot program at Folio3 has been a source of pride. Through this program, I’ve had the privilege of training and mentoring multiple individuals, helping them kickstart or reboot their careers in the tech industry.

These accomplishments reflect my commitment to personal and professional development, as well as my dedication to making a positive impact within my organization and the broader community.


4. What has been your best education/career decision, and why?

My best education and career decision was choosing to specialize in both front-end development and machine learning. This decision has allowed me to diversify my skill set and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.

When I applied to the NED University of Engineering and Technology, there was an onsite selection process where students had to choose their field of study on the spot. Initially, I wrote down electronic engineering, influenced by the desire to be with my friends who were mostly opting for that field. However, as I approached the stage, something inside me urged me to reconsider. In a split-second decision, I chose Computer Information Systems (CIS) instead, and it turned out to be the best decision of my life.

This seemingly spontaneous choice altered the course of my career and opened up countless opportunities for growth and success. Looking back, I believe it was a moment guided by divine intervention, as it led me to discover my passion for technology and set me on a path of fulfillment and achievement. All praises to Allah SWT for guiding me in that moment.


5. What are the best lessons you’ve learned?

The best lessons I’ve learned revolve around resilience, empathy, and continuous learning.

Firstly, I’ve learned the importance of resilience in the face of challenges and setbacks. Throughout my career, I’ve encountered numerous obstacles and failures, but each experience has taught me the value of perseverance and determination. By embracing adversity and refusing to give up, I’ve been able to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Secondly, I’ve learned the importance of empathy in building meaningful relationships and fostering a positive work environment. Understanding and valuing the perspectives and experiences of others has helped me communicate effectively, collaborate productively, and lead with compassion.

Lastly, I’ve learned the significance of continuous learning and growth. In the ever-evolving tech industry, staying stagnant is not an option. By committing to lifelong learning and embracing new challenges and opportunities, I’ve been able to adapt to change, expand my skills, and stay ahead of the curve.

These lessons have shaped my approach to both my personal and professional life, guiding me to strive for excellence, cultivate meaningful connections, and embrace growth and development at every opportunity.

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6. Which woman inspires you and why?

The woman who inspires me the most is undoubtedly my mother. Her love, strength, and sacrifices have been the bedrock of my life’s journey. Growing up, I witnessed her navigate challenges with grace and resilience, always putting our family’s needs above her own.

What truly sets my mother apart is her unwavering faith and kindness. Despite facing hardships, she has never lost her gentle spirit or her ability to find joy in the simple things in life. Her unwavering belief in Allah’s plan and her constant prayers have been a source of comfort and guidance for our family.

My mother’s selflessness knows no bounds. She has always been there for me, offering unwavering support and encouragement, even in my darkest moments. Her strength, determination, and unconditional love inspire me to be a better person every day.

In her, I see the epitome of resilience, compassion, and faith. She is not just my mother; she is my guiding light, my rock, and my greatest inspiration.


7. 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?

Pakistan has seen progress in accepting career-oriented women, but challenges persist due to societal norms and cultural barriers. For instance, I’ve witnessed instances where women are not nominated for leadership roles or are subjected to ridicule for their commitment to a 9-6 work schedule. This highlights the need to train males to accept that both male and female employees may have different work patterns and responsibilities. 

To facilitate more women’s participation, we need to challenge gender stereotypes, promote equal opportunities in education and employment, and create supportive workplace environments with flexible arrangements. Mentorship and networking programs can also empower women and foster a culture of respect and equality. By addressing systemic barriers and championing women’s rights, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.


8. What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

The biggest challenge for the generation of women behind me will likely be navigating the intersection of traditional gender expectations and the evolving landscape of opportunities and choices. While progress has been made in breaking down barriers, there are still deeply entrenched societal norms and expectations that may limit women’s aspirations and opportunities.

Additionally, as technology continues to reshape industries and the workforce, there may be new challenges and opportunities for women to navigate. Ensuring equal access to education, skills training, and employment opportunities will be crucial in empowering the next generation of women to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Furthermore, achieving work-life balance and overcoming systemic barriers such as workplace discrimination and gender biases will remain ongoing challenges. It will require concerted efforts from society, government, and organizations to create more inclusive and supportive environments where women can fully realize their potential and contribute to society.


 9. What would it be if you could change one thing about the tech industry/business?

If I could change one thing about the tech industry, it would be to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Despite progress, women and minorities are still underrepresented, limiting innovation and opportunities. By fostering inclusive cultures and implementing diverse hiring practices, we can unlock the full potential of talent and drive innovation.


10. How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?

WomenInTechPK provides a supportive community where women can connect, seek guidance, and access opportunities for professional growth. It serves as a safe space for sharing experiences and celebrating achievements. Through workshops, mentorship programs, and networking events, it offers avenues for skill enhancement and career advancement. Personally, it has helped me stay updated on industry trends and opportunities, contributing to my professional development. Overall, WomenInTechPK empowers women in the tech industry by providing support, resources, and a platform for collaboration, enabling them to thrive in their careers.

You can follow Abroo Jalil using her profile(s) below, and please do not hesitate to hire her for your next project.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aabroo-jalil/

Github: https://github.com/abroojalil

Medium: https://medium.com/@abroo.jalil/

Kaggle: https://www.kaggle.com/abroojalil

Portfolio: https://tinyurl.com/abroojalil

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