What made Huawei’s May Li fall in love with tech

News Desk -

On International Women’s Day this year, TECHx spoke with May Li, VP of Solution Marketing at Huawei Middle East. We asked her 9 questions to discover more about her career path and interests as a woman in technology. Continue reading to learn more.

TECHx: What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

May: I grew up in China.   My parents were both engineering experts in their fields. So, when it came to choosing a major at university, it seemed natural to go with technology. Although, when compared to other subjects, you must put in extra effort to stay on top, and studying can be tedious at times. I struggled in my first year of university, and it wasn’t until a later year that I found inspiration in technology; when I built my first radio transmitter and wrote the first embedded program that allows the digital display of room temperature, I fell in love with technology.

TECHx: How have you dealt with challenges throughout your career? 

May: Don’t bury your head in the sand and don’t cry in the toilets; instead, believe in yourself and dare to face the challenges. Also, when you need assistance, ask for it. Having someone to lean on can often help you overcome difficulties and challenges quickly.

TECHx: How do gender balance and a diverse workforce contribute to the success of an organization?

May: It is critical to have a gender-balanced and diverse workforce with a variety of ideas and perspectives to help us solve problems. It will also allow an organization to reach out to a larger talent pool, improve collaboration, and improve staff retention. Furthermore, a diverse and well-balanced organization will better reflect your customers, improve recruitment, and reputation. The theory that gender diversity has a positive impact on the bottom line is supported by evidence. According to McKinsey, companies with the most gender diversity are 21% more likely to achieve above-average profitability.

TECHx: Do you have a female role model? If so, who is she and how has she inspired you?

May: Hedy Lamarr was best known as a glamour 50s film star, but she also contributed to the development of a radio guidance system that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology, which served as the foundation for some later wireless technologies. She represented a beauty with brains for me, and I always tell people not to judge a book by its cover.

TECHx: What is it about your work that excites you?

May: When I see a piece of technology that can genuinely change people’s lives and bring social benefits and changes, I get excited. A simple thing like 5G can excite me because it changes people’s working environments in the port by allowing more girls to control and operate cranes that were previously managed by men.

TECHx: With technology moving so fast, how do you remain updated?

May: There is no shortcut to keeping up with technology; you must read, study, and work with it.

TECHx: What’s your favourite motivational quote?

May: Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts. —Winston Churchill

TECHx: Among all the gadgets you use, which is your favourite?

May: It has to be my Huawei phone, which sounds a little boring, but my life and work are frequently dependent on it.

TECHx: When it comes to progressing in a leadership role, what are the most important traits? Can you give one piece of advice to young females who are considering careers in tech?

May: An effective leader must be able to communicate effectively, motivate your team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and be adaptable in order to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.

I’d tell the young ladies out there that you have the brains to achieve your goals; be confident and prepared; it won’t be easy, but it will be advantageous.


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