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

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

Today, we are featuring Maryam Zubair Butt. Read on to know more about her work and get inspired.


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

I am a self-driven person who loves to learn and engage in productive roles. I have a Master’s degree in Engineering Systems and Management and a Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering along with some certifications in AI and data science. Research and learning have been my primary focus in recent years apart from being a full-time mother to two lovely demanding children. Currently, I am the co-founder and research lead of Aagah, which aims to study the dynamics of gender-based street harassment in Pakistan through AI machines and deep learning models. 

What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact it will have on the community/society/your team/your project?

The social implications of technology and data motivate me more than anything else. I plan to increase the depth of my expertise in data science while being aware of the wide social realm where this can be applied.  I believe this can change the way we perceive problems and hence the way we design solutions to these problems.

Please brag about your career accomplishments, what are the things you are really proud of? 

Something that keeps my self-esteem and motivation high is my journey from being a topper at school to being awarded scholarships for both my bachelor’s and master’s programs. Being a part of a fellowship program, I was lucky enough to be trained by researchers and experts from renowned institutions like Harvard and MIT. Collaborating and publishing with them enhanced my perception and attitude towards research. It was an amazing experience. Nevertheless, I have a long way to go before I reach a point of self-actualization and self-fulfillment.


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

My decision to pursue my masters has been a powerful one. Working with experts from the field, the multi-cultural environment, and the hard-core training built my confidence and changed my perspective on many things. My current decision of a startup instead of working as a researcher under someone else is also proving to be an interesting one. When you work as per your principles and motivations, the passion is always there, it never gets boring. This feeling is different, working towards something you truly believe in… it’s empowering in its own way.


What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?

  • Don’t assume without trying – some opportunities seem unrealistic, but things unfold when you start trying. In one job interview, I was asked to defend my condition of shorter working hours which was against the organization’s norm. It was just a matter of me speaking up and trying. Not only was I offered the job, but I could work at my own set timings and work from home occasionally.
  • Set your own goals and do not compare – everyone has their own challenges, make the best of what you have.
  • Sharpen the saw – the right time will come, be prepared.

Which woman inspires you and why?

There are many women who inspire me for different facets of life. It is difficult to choose one.

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?

This is complicated. Career-oriented women may be accepted but I feel they are still not supported enough. This puts the pressure on women to either compromise their roles as mothers or sacrifice their dreams. Countries with the highest social progressive index offer paid maternity leaves of up to 1 year while job security for 3 years encouraging women to raise their children and return to work with ease. Furthermore, shorter working hours for mothers can also be a big step towards facilitating women to come forward and manage motherhood. We must think holistically, we cannot trivialize certain roles.

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

We have started to expect women to be perfect at everything. So, I feel the challenge will be to not overwhelm by unrealistic expectations and to accept imperfections.

If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?

Adopt an inter-disciplinary approach. We need a blend of research, technical expertise, innovation, marketing, and entrepreneurship to take this industry further. In addition, understanding the social implications of these can also help us design solutions to our social problems more effectively.

How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?

They are already doing a great job! Please continue to do so! Ms. Shamim and Ms. Faiza have been so kind and generous with us as mentors, at a time when we needed it the most. They spread their empowerment to other women professionally and warmly discuss ideas.

You can follow Maryam Zubair Butt using her profiles below, and please do not hesitate in hiring her for your next project.



Aagah: The Aagah Initiative is Pakistan’s Fight Against Street Harassment. Aagah provides an online tool where any woman in Pakistan can anonymously report cases of street harassment, no matter how small or severe. We use this data to create real-time maps on our website detailing the location and severity of the cases across the country. We also have AI-powered research models to glean insight into the issue and design data-driven solutions.


join grounp

Join 10,000+ women

Join the ever-growing community of futuristic Pakistani women in tech