Maryam Ehsan

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 Maryam Ehsan. 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.

I’m Maryam Ehsan, CEO and Co-founder of a dynamic digital marketing firm, Market Pro. My career goals have always revolved around building my own business. Earlier in life, I was unsure of the field I wanted to adopt, but the passion for building an empowering and unique brand remained with me. Today, I have 10+ years of experience providing Martech and AdTech solutions, and I am excited to work every day to help businesses grow digitally. 

I have completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting, Finance, and Economics. However, I chose to start my career in the digital marketing industry. To gather enough practical knowledge about digital marketing solutions, I served as a content marketing lead for two years at Pakistan’s prominent AI and IT development company. This is a short introduction to me as the country’s leading digital marketing expert. 

Maryam Ehsan

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

My future plans revolve around excelling as a market leader in the digital marketing sector. A huge part of this is expanding my team and the marketing services I offer, as well as exploring untouched digital economies. For this purpose, we recruit people at the backend in multiple departments, including content marketing, research, SEO, and design. 

Another one of my plans is to implement smart technologies like VR and Generative AI. The world will run on these technologies in the near future, and it’s essential that we, as market leaders, adopt them to enhance our service quality for end consumers. It will also help us, as citizens of Pakistan, keep up with global advancements.  

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

I am definitely proud to become the Co-Founder and CEO of a fast-growing digital marketing agency, building it from scratch and taking it to the top in a competitive market. The journey has been very challenging, but my learning-focused mindset has helped me to conquer every step. Many hurdles came along the way, and many people thought the company wouldn’t go far, but my resilience in the face of adversity proved them all wrong, a personal skill I learned. 

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

Hands down, I’m proud of nothing more than pursuing my career in digital marketing and launching a full-scale agency, and that was the best decision I took at the right time. 

Though establishing a business has always been my dream, I hesitated about taking the leap. Of course, leaving your comfort zone to focus on one goal and investing everything you have in it demands immense courage. Thankfully, I didn’t heed the negative voices and continued striving for excellence. Waiting for the right time takes a toll on the best years of your life. 

After building a digital marketing agency, I realized it was the best career decision ever. Now, I am confident enough to launch a hundred such businesses from scratch without investing much time and energy.  

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

My 10+ years of work experience have made me realize that everything is temporary. Staying consistent in your role requires resilience and staying focused on challenging days. There will be bad days and awful ones. One should refrain from trying to measure their worth based on these negatives. Women are considered emotional, but there’s no place for emotions in business. So, staying tough and not letting the hard days affect your devotion is one of my best lessons.

Over these years, I have also learned that adaptability is crucial. The world has become very dynamic, and a different trend or revolutionary technology is launched every day. Staying updated with these innovations is vital to competitiveness in the ever-evolving digital space. 

6. Which woman inspires you, and why?

I have never been inspired more than anyone besides my Mother. She’s the one who taught me the value of self-confidence and staying consistent throughout challenging phases of life. She always stood composed in the toughest situations without compromising on her goals and aspirations. I have looked up to her since childhood; her teachings of moral and resilient practices have helped me a lot throughout my career as a digital marketer.

Oprah Winfrey is another lady by whom I’m inspired. Her life stories, philanthropic activities, and persistence throughout her struggles are truly motivating.     

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?

Yes, I do believe Pakistan has made some progress in accepting career-oriented women, but there’s still a long way to go. Over the years, I’ve seen more women stepping into professional fields like business, politics, education, healthcare, and media. High-profile success stories of women entrepreneurs and leaders inspire and serve as role models, showing that breaking traditional barriers is possible.

However, cultural and societal norms are still creating obstacles. Traditionally, a woman is expected to look after the house and family, discouraging many from pursuing careers. Also, social stigma around working women is still persistent in some regions. 

Balancing professional and personal responsibilities still remains a major challenge for women in Pakistan. Companies should introduce policies like maternity leave, childcare options, and flexible timings to aid working ladies in excelling in their careers without any physical or mental pressure.

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

The digital-first world presents both opportunities and challenges for women. They are at risk of being disproportionately affected by technological advancements while facing barriers to becoming a part of the workforce and being underrepresented in senior management positions across industries. We must commit to supporting women in STEM fields through education and technical training, ensuring they are equipped with the essential skills to thrive in today’s competitive world. As for leaders, it’s crucial to advocate for and implement policies that foster gender diversity in upper management roles, ensuring that women have equal opportunities to shape the future of our communities. Finally, cultural norms and barriers will be the most significant challenges for the women behind me.

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

Gender inclusivity. Females have climbed the ladder to the top, but the ratio is less than men’s, and the income gap is still prevalent. This is primarily because women are the primary caregivers at home as well. Changing the dynamics of family structure in Pakistan is a long path. Still, the least corporates can do is consider this a problem or a hurdle in the career growth of female stakeholders and take action to resolve this.

10. How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?

I am glad that WomenInTechPK is helping women excel in their professional lives by providing a platform to connect. Sometimes, all a passionate individual needs is guidance, support, and a group of like-minded people to interact with. 

I hope the team keeps on providing opportunities for connection-building and training. Online and offline sessions on certain tech-related topics and symposiums can inspire younger women to achieve industry excellence.

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

Market Pro’s Website: https://marketpro.ai/

Maryam’s LinkedIn: https://pk.linkedin.com/in/maryamehsan

Market Pro’s LinkedIn: https://pk.linkedin.com/company/marketproltd

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