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 Tooba Fatima. 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.
Allow me to introduce myself – Tooba Fatima, a seasoned Senior SQA Engineer. Hailing from a middle-class family, where societal norms dictated that girls should not pursue careers and instead relish being coddled at home. My Amma (grandmother) and parents supported me in defying the odds and charting my own path to success.
My journey has been a circuitous one, packed with twists and turns. Initially, I secured admission in B.Com, but destiny had other plans. A visit to my maternal family in a neighboring country resulted in missing the enrollment deadline. This twist of fate led me down the path of BSCS.
Subsequently, I pursued a career in Digital Marketing and excelled for two years, only to realize that it was not aligned with my degree and expertise. I researched to identify the ideal field for me, which led me to QA.
Transitioning to a new field proved challenging, but I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at an organization that believed in me and invested in my professional development. Their support and guidance were pivotal in my success, and I will always be grateful to them.
2. What are your future plans/aspirations? What impact will it have on the community/society/your team/your project?
My vision for the future centers on personal and professional growth, with a focus on elevating both myself and those around me. In my work, I aim to cultivate customer satisfaction, building a foundation of trust and loyalty for the company. As a devoted member of SynapseQA, I plan to volunteer my time and expertise toward their initiatives. My ultimate goal is to make a meaningful difference and be a beacon of support to those in need.
3. Please brag about your career accomplishments. What are the things you are really proud of?
- I completed my computer science degree without any financial assistance, a personal triumph.
- I also had the honor of hosting a webinar with a renowned international speaker and collaborating with various testing communities.
- Another proud accomplishment was conducting a professional workshop on performance testing which gave me a Title of a Good Trainer.
- Most importantly, I established my identity in the industry by my name rather than my employer’s.
- Being able to help others in resume reviews and career counseling.
4. What has been your best education/career decision, and why?
I firmly believe in taking bold and decisive actions and dedicating myself to turning those decisions into positive outcomes or valuable lessons. From the moment I chose to pursue a degree in computer science from Preston University to my current role with my esteemed employer, every choice has proven to be the right one thus far.
Working with the US team and contributing to developing cutting-edge technology products has been a thrilling and inspiring experience. This exposure has instilled in me a newfound passion for engaging with both local and international testing communities, further expanding my knowledge and expertise in this exciting field.
5. What’re the best lessons you’ve learned?
- Your value is not determined by your degree but rather by the skills you possess.
- Mistakes are inevitable, but owning up to them and apologizing is a sign of strength.
- Refuse to be influenced by disparaging comments that chip away at your self-confidence.
- Embrace constructive criticism without allowing it to become a matter of pride.
- Don’t compare yourself with others; we all have our own unique paths and destinies to fulfill. Focus on your journey and believe that you will receive what is meant for you.
6. Which woman inspires you and why?
My late beloved Amma (Grandmother) was a gem of a person with a heart that shone with compassion. Though steeped in tradition, she embraced progressive ideas and stood as a shield between me and the confines of society’s expectations. Her empowering words gave me the courage to pursue my passions. I aspire to carry on her legacy of selfless love and kindness toward all without seeking any reward in return.
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?
Despite society’s claims of being progressive and supportive of career-oriented women, the truth remains that many still cling to traditional beliefs that a woman’s ultimate success lies solely in her marriage. Accomplishments outside of this realm are often disregarded and deemed insignificant.
To foster true change, women must band together and uplift one another in the workplace and home. We must create a supportive network that celebrates and recognizes our achievements beyond the confines of societal expectations. Only then can we break free from the shackles of outdated norms and pave the way for a brighter future for ourselves and future generations of women.
8. What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
In my view, gender-based disparities in compensation.
9. If you could change one thing about the tech industry/business, what would it be?
The erroneous belief that women are inherently feeble and ill-equipped to handle high-pressure situations has long plagued the industry. Additionally, the fallacy that women come to work solely to showcase their physical appearance rather than to make meaningful contributions based on their talents and efforts is equally common.
10. How can WomenInTechPK help you and other women?
WomenInTechPK is already making a significant impact. I would love to contribute to their goal.
You can follow Tooba Fatima using her profile below, and please do not hesitate to hire her for your next project.