We are currently releasing a series of articles containing interviews with Pakistani women who are employed in the technology industry, either locally or globally. Our aim is to showcase their accomplishments and contributions to both the industry and their communities. 

These remarkable women are tackling actual problems, defying stereotypes, and making significant advancements in the tech field. The interview series highlights the fact that despite Pakistan having one of the lowest rates of female participation in the job market, there is still a wealth of talented women who are utilizing technology to achieve remarkable outcomes.

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

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

I am Bismah Mirza, I love travelling, reading, writing, and spending time in nature, and I love to be many things at a time. I was born in Hyderabad (Sindh), raised, educated, and worked in Karachi. I completed my MBA in Media Management from the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) in Karachi. I soon discovered my passion for Learning & Development and became a certified Development and Corporate Sectors trainer. I have over ten years of diverse working experience in Human Resources, particularly Learning & Development, Entrepreneurship, and conducting and executing capacity-building projects. In 2018, I got married, moved to Islamabad, and co-founded my non-governmental organization, Research Education & Development.

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

I intend to create a platform for women which serves as a mentoring club for them. Many women feel a dire need for women mentors or a support group no matter where they are in their careers or businesses. In fact, this need is for women from different walks of life, be they homemakers, working women, or juggling both. R.E.D’s Women Mentoring Club aims to provide support on multiple levels, professional or personal. This will create confidence among women and help them save precious time by learning from experts.  

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

To launch my NGO, Research Education & Development (R.E.D) International. This has enabled me to work on areas upon which I wanted to work, such as Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment & Youth Development. We have been empowering both men and women through skill-based training and entrepreneurship, executing programs such as Women Lead Tech, Business Acceleration Bootcamp, and Teach Tech Boot Camp. This empowers women & youth for a sustainable income and works on their digital literacy. Another initiative of ours is Her Own Way. It is a women empowerment campaign where we have tried to find answers to this cliche phrase, ‘Women Empowerment.’ I thought of Her Own Way after seeing women stuck in their careers and lives around me. I could see that they have developed a mental and physical cage around them. 

4. What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?

I am still learning and strive to learn every day. I have started my YouTube channel to share my learnings.  But one of the best things I have learned the hard way is: You have to stand up for yourself! As women, we need to be disciplined, confident in our abilities, be our own cheerleaders, and stop looking for external validation.

5. Which woman inspires you and why?

There is no one single woman who inspires me. Self-driven women who carry their values are a source of inspiration for me, and there are many of them. I admire a lot of women starting from my grandmother, mother, mother-in-law, and colleagues, and women who have become household names. One such example is Faiza Yousuf. 

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6. 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? 

Yes, Pakistan has changed as a society. Many households now provide an enabling environment for women to pursue their dreams and encourage and inspire them. This decision to pursue a career or not should always be taken by a woman herself, as she knows herself and her goals better. 

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

It might soon become a compulsion for women to earn rather than an option. And balancing both work and life will continue to become more challenging for women with respect to their health and emotional well-being. Women of the future must consciously and meticulously work on their mental and physical health. 

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

Make it more inclusive for women. Create more awareness about the tech field. Show the human side of it more. 

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9. How can WomenIn TechPK help you and other women?

This is an excellent initiative of WomenInTechPK to showcase and celebrate the careers of women working in technology and business. I suggest more cohesion through virtual meetups so gaps can be identified and solutions can be provided. I would love to be of any help to WomenInTechPK and its network in my capacity. 

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

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