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 Shumaila Nasir. 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.

A software engineer by education, an artist by nature, and an IT professional who has been serving the tech industry for about 15 years in various capacities. Coming from a military background, my childhood dream was to be an Army doctor to serve my country and suffering humanity. As I grew, I felt my natural inclination and personality traits were compatible with this profession; however, I could not make it. 

Chose an entirely different field having completely different dynamics (Software Engineering) with no prior background to it. Gave more than 100% and graduated with flying colors. Once again tried my luck to join Army, this time as a Software Engineer, but God had some other plans for me, so I could not clear the ISSB exam. Shifted all my focus and struggles into the tech field wholeheartedly. Took start as a “Quality Assurance Analyst” in a small software company and, going through various paths, ended up being a “Lead Project Manager” today in one of the leading companies in Pakistan, “Contour Software.”

Helping people by guiding them through difficult situations, listening to their vows, and coaching them to get to a solution is what I have always cherished doing. I have been the people’s “Go to Person” when in need, which has been a constant in my life until now. Leadership roles further provided me with the opportunities to fulfill this appetite of mine. I mentor people to be the best version of themselves and strive to reach their full potential. Hence even at the end of the most tiring days, I retire to sleep happy and contented.

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

Since I am a people person, so intend to associate myself with projects which involve adding value at the personal as well as societal level. I am still exploring various avenues to determine the exact territory where I can shape my aspirations into a reality.

Recently got the chance to be a trainer in TechLift Bootcamp Program by PASHA and PSEB in Contour Software, whose prime objective is to bridge the industry-academia gap. This experience has been so wholesome and fulfilling as it provided me with an opportunity to contribute to the betterment of our country by upskilling our youth, instilling in them a Can-do attitude, and boosting their confidence to make them realize they can make a difference in the world. In my view, this is the best way to pay back what I owe to my country. Being close to these youngsters and getting to know their issues and concerns, I could realize the impact I can impart on the youth through training and coaching both on the tech side and soft skills side. I aim to repay the community with what I have learned by bridging the industry-academia gap. To accomplish this objective, I deliver guest speaker sessions in universities on tech subjects and associate myself with the projects like TechLift Bootcamp.

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

One of my Onshore managers once stated: “You are a courageous woman in a man’s world.” 

One of my most significant accomplishments was that I managed to qualify for one of the toughest Onshore Divisions in Contour Software, which was known for its demanding selection criteria. No female was hired there for about 20 years, so I was the only female among 25 men. Seeing my leadership skills, I was promoted to become the first female Scrum Master in Contour. Leading teams comprising only men and mostly senior to me was very tough, but I surpassed all the challenges and gained recognition as an effective Scrum master. 

Switched to a full-time leadership role as a Project Manager, formulated and led four teams successfully, implemented Agile/Scrum best practices and processes, delivered major projects under extreme time constraints and pressure, got recognitions at several platforms, and was promoted to Lead Project Manager. Now that the company has decided to adopt SAFe, I am the first to be SAFe Certified to help roll out SAFe practices and deliver training in the department to educate people to facilitate adopting this change. I also volunteered as a trainer in TechLift Bootcamp to add my share to bridge the industry-academia gap.


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

Choosing computer science, despite having a pre-medical background, was the best career decision of my life. I had apprehensions initially but surpassed all the challenges and fears through my tireless efforts to get there. This field has vast dynamics and versatile opportunities to offer. I have had many flavors of various roles to practice my skill set, giving me huge exposure and maturity. I doubt any other field would have so much to offer.

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

  • Never give up! Do not let self-pity affect your morale. Keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals. Hardships are part of the process; you might get an extra share of challenges being a female, but always remember you are blessed with some unique traits and abilities to deal with them.
  • Endure criticism with grace. Make use of constructive criticism to grow, excel and improve. 
  • Be happy with your blessings, keep doing the hard work with persistence, and trust the process; you will shine at the right time.
  • Never compete with others, but the only person you should compete with is you. Try to be a better version of yourself each day.
  • Stay positive and spread positivity around; your existence should impart a positive and valuable impact on people associated with you.
  • Surround yourself with happy, genuine, and positive people. Uplift those who need your help.
  • Contribute towards the betterment of community/society/country. We wish this world to be a better place; let’s play our part in making it a better place.

6. Which woman inspires you and why?

All women are inspirational in their own ways, and I respect their struggles and contributions. Those working on farms to feed their families, homemakers who devote their energies to building a happy home, laborers, professionals, and leaders who are changing the world through their significant impact are all inspirational and deserve a pat on the back. Through the collective effort of all these amazing women, we have reached the current level of progression, and there is a long way to go.

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?

There has been a considerable change in our socio-economic and political scenario compared to the past. There were times when there were very few women in the industry or any professional/public sector; over time, not only the number of women in these areas has increased, but society has also given them a bit of acceptance. Ten years ago, I was the only female in the company working then. Nine years ago, I was the only female in a team of 25 men, there were very few females in the company, and now we have a 30:70 ratio. 

Taking a holistic view, a lot yet needs to be done and improved in terms of elevating the acceptance level for professional women as well as encouraging more women to come forward. Following areas needs considerable attention:

  • Education is a necessity, and women should have provision to it without any discrimination. Privilege to get a professional education, like IT, engineering, finance, marketing, and business management.
  • Empowering them to be confident enough to know and claim their basic socio-economic, political, family, and individual rights.
  • They should be given the leverage to pursue a career in their respective fields. Due support from the family is needed here.
  • Providing equal employment opportunities and enabling gender-friendly environments at workplaces.
  • Women should be accepted and respected as a pillar of society and should not be restricted to surviving and growing in the name of honor and custom.


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

Gender disparity, apprehensions concerning women empowerment and provision of the safer public environment.

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

Inclusion of more and more women in leadership roles, sitting on the board of directors, and being part of making big decisions.

10. How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?

I would love to be part of this fantastic group and add my share to it. 

WomenInTech is an excellent platform preaching Inclusion, diversity, and equity which we know is the need of this time. It brings the tech gurus and tech women closer, binding them through a supportive network where they help each other, uplift, and upskill their fellows or juniors. Keep doing the good work as is.

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


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