In this latest series of articles, we publish interviews of women working as professionals or students 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 Ingila Ejaz. Read on to learn more about her work and get inspired.

Ingila Ejaz

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

My name is Ingila, and I am a full-stack developer with 11 years of experience. I am based in Karachi, Pakistan. Currently, I work at HBL as the Manager of IT Solutions, alongside being a mother of three.

I am always eager to expand my skills. I actively participate in hackathons, contribute to open-source projects, pursue specializations, solve coding problems on platforms like LeetCode and Hackerrank, and write about diverse problem-solving approaches on Medium. Recently, I completed the Meta Frontend Developer Specialization, Meta Backend Developer Specialization, IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Specialization, and AWS Cloud Solutions Architect Specialization. I also took part in two recent hackathons focused on Web 3.0 and Generative AI, gaining valuable insights into the emerging tech ecosystem while collaborating with developers from the US, the UK, and Nigeria.

I regularly complete assessments on coding platforms like Hackerrank to ensure my programming skills remain sharp. Additionally, I hold certifications in Python (Basic), Java (Basic), and JavaScript from Hackerrank. My goal is to build a career that inspires my daughters and showcases the impact women can make in technology.

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

Being a part of the software development industry for the last 11 years, I can say that even though we have come very far in terms of facilitating moms in the corporate by integrating work life with caring responsibilities, I strongly believe there is more that needs to be done in terms of female and especially mothers’ representation in the higher positions. I aim to foster an environment that encourages working moms to keep climbing the corporate ladder without worrying about childcare responsibilities in the workplace. An onsite daycare can be a good step towards ensuring that. I know several organizations have this facility. However, sadly, it is still not a norm for every organization, and If I can play any role in making it a norm, I would feel greatly profound in my professional journey.     

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

One of the biggest accomplishments of my career to date is the revamping of the Global Remittance System at HBL. Initially, it was a legacy monolith on ASP.Net 3.5, and we successfully revamped it in-house. When my team lead presented the opportunity to work on Angular, despite being a Java developer at the time, I saw it as a golden chance to learn a new technology stack. Fast forward six years, the project is now live in over 1700 branches across Pakistan and has facilitated cross-border payments worth millions being credited to Pakistan, seamlessly integrated with over 500 external banks worldwide, including J.P. Morgan.

The product was initially developed on Angular 4 and has undergone continuous upgrades, now running on Angular 15. Through this project, I gained extensive experience with the MEAN stack, which inspired me to pursue becoming an Angular Google Developer Expert (GDE), a goal I am actively working towards. Recently, I was approached by a recruiter from Google on LinkedIn and successfully cleared two rounds of interviews. Although I did not secure a position at Google this time, the experience was invaluable in teaching me how to prepare for interviews at top-tier tech companies. I am eagerly looking forward to reapplying to Google once the six-month waiting period ends.

Ingila Ejaz

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

Getting a B.E. in Computers and Information Systems Engineering from NED University was the best decision for my educational journey. I have always been inclined towards logic building and creativity, and becoming a Full Stack Developer has allowed me to enjoy my work to its fullest potential by developing complex backend logic for businesses along with interactive user interfaces for end users. From a career perspective, not taking a career break and continuing to stay in the workforce while raising my kids has been the most difficult yet the most fulfilling and rewarding experience of my life. It has empowered me to become a role model for my daughters and, hopefully, other young girls, showing them that they don’t have to choose between motherhood and a career to feel fulfilled. They can be both a mom and successful professionals climbing the corporate ladder if they aim to do so.

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

There are so many, but the more I grow, the more I realize that all the best things that happened in my life occurred because I took initiatives in the wrong direction, which eventually led me in the right direction. Being an observer of other people’s mistakes and avoiding them is one thing, but it’s actually your own biggest mistakes that teach you the greatest lessons in life. If I can pass one lesson to anyone reading this, it would be not to be afraid of making mistakes. I have been earning ever since my dad passed away due to a sudden cardiac arrest when I was only 14, and today, I am the sole breadwinner for my mom, a mom of three, a wife, a property owner, a full stack engineer, and a writer on Medium, not because I never made mistakes or was always perfect, but because I allowed myself to fail a thousand times and was willing to learn from my mistakes.

6. Which woman inspires you and why?

I could not even try to name a single woman who inspires me the most. The woman who has had the biggest impact on my life has been my mom, who raised my sister and me alone as a single mother without any resources. Because of her dedication and strength, I could finish my bachelor’s degree on a full scholarship. She didn’t have much to her name, but she made sure my sister and I grew up to become financially stable and independent women. Another woman who inspires me greatly is Reshma Saujani, the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and Moms First. She has spent more than a decade building movements to fight for women’s and girls’ economic empowerment, working to close the gender gap in the tech sector, and, most recently, advocating for policies that support moms in the workforce.

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?

As a career-oriented woman myself, I believe there has never been more acceptance for career-oriented women, especially in Pakistan than there is now. I hope this trend continues and improves in the future. Women working and excelling in their careers, not just for financial independence and safety but also to fulfill their passions and dreams, is something to cherish. It will lead to positive change in society and inspire future generations of young girls.

That being said, I would like to emphasize the massive need for female-centric policies such as separate restrooms, on-site daycares, subsidized child care, paid maternity leave, flexible hours, and hybrid working models to become the norm in every organization. The conventional work dynamics were designed for a traditional single-income family where one person earned and the other took charge of caregiving responsibilities. However, as family dynamics change and dual-income households become a necessity, it is high time that work models in organizations adapt to suit this new dynamic.

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

I really hope that society takes the right steps toward growth to ensure that the upcoming generations of young, bright women do not face the challenges that previous generations did. However, some of the biggest challenges they might have to overcome include the constant need to upskill themselves, especially after the significant boom in the AI domain. I think it is important that the next generation, along with technical skills, is well-versed in skills that require a human touch, such as sports, arts, poetry, literature, and music, to name a few.

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

Micromanagement and credit hogging. Having been a part of the industry for the last 11 years, I have seen amazing companies lose great assets to this culture. I have seen incredibly talented individuals become disappointed by it and eventually leave their companies despite good salaries, benefits, and learning opportunities. 

10. How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?

WomenInTech has been an amazing source of inspiration and an invaluable platform for women in STEM to be themselves and raise any concerns. Faiza and Shamim are two of my go-to people, and I can always turn to them for advice on both personal and professional challenges.

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




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