This International Women’s Day 2021, TECHx brings you important messages from Women Leaders in Technology across Middle East. Here Palo Alto Networks’ inspiring women speak with TECHx about their experience in the tech industry, the importance of work-life balance, and tips for aspiring women looking to join the industry.
Attributed to: Anna Chung, Principal Threat Analyst, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks
Anna Chung, Principal Threat Analyst, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks, said: “Never stop challenging the labels: It’s so easy to fall for the myth that you have to fit some kind of traditional mold to be able to go for technology roles – that there’s a specific set of experiences, behaviours and skills you need. Any individual, regardless of gender, is greater than any label; we’ve all got great potential to enrich or even completely redefine them. If working in technology interests you, just be yourself!”
“Challenge yourself: We all want to see our workplaces and society as a whole continue to improve diversity and inclusion, but these improvements won’t happen if we don’t actively pursue it. It’s so important to make time to engage with others, ask questions, learn and celebrate diversity. Opening yourself up and taking action is the first step in making yourself part of the changes you want to see in the world,” she added.
Anna concluded: “Pick your challenges: There’s no predetermined path you have to follow or one ‘right way’ of getting there. Pick the challenges that interest you rather than those that are imposed on you. And always remember to take time out to be kind to yourself.”
Attributed to: Laurence Delpy, VP, Service Provider, EMEA, Palo Alto Networks
Laurence Delpy,VP, Service Provider, EMEA, Palo Alto Networks, said: “Women often look for roles that allow them to make an impact in the world. With technology having been central to how we’ve all operated during the pandemic, and cybersecurity now critical to maintaining our digital lives – we need to show that this is a sector with so many opportunities for all.”
“I hope that we’ll see some of the changes and more flexible working styles that have been brought about by the pandemic continue to be nurtured as we start to return to a more open world. This could help to eliminate bias and maximise opportunities for women who need more flexibility in their roles,” Laurence added.
“As female leaders, it’s important we always try to be good role models for the next generation. Lead with empathy, focus on your strengths, and help us define a new leadership model for a more inclusive future,” she concluded.
Attributed to: Wadad Kafka, VP, Customer Services, EMEA, Palo Alto Networks
Wadad Kafka, VP, Customer Services, EMEA, Palo Alto Networks, commented: “I truly believe in the power of diversity in business. The more diverse we are, the stronger we are together. Through my career in technology, I’ve often been the only woman in the room, but I’m pleased to see this is now starting to change and I’m passionate about encouraging diverse candidates to join the IT industry.”
“Growing up, I was fascinated by what was inside the big TV sets and radios we had at the time. I liked taking them apart and understanding what they were made up of, and I went on to study telecommunications and computer science,” Wadad said.
She added: “For me, career development is about having a clear vision of where to go and working hard to achieve it. But also, being part of a company that believes in the potential of its talent and working with great leaders are key for success.”