In our series of interviews with “Women in Tech”, TECHx introduces inspiring women who have successfully gained a foothold in the IT industry. In this feature, TECHx Editor, Rabab Zehra spoke with Amel Gardner, Vice President, MEA, Infor to learn about Amel’s professional journey & her role as a woman in the technology industry
TECHx: Please tell us about your journey and how you arrived at Infor as VP and GM?
Amel: I started out as a civil engineer and gained my first experience in the technology sector when I became a senior sales engineer for the fiber optics company, Corning, in the United States. I learned about fiber optics from scratch and grew the business in South America, Europe and Asia, which made me realize that it’s possible to learn anything, and you should not be intimidated by new challenges.
I also came to understand the transformative impact and potential of Information Technology, and realized it was something I wanted to be part of. I joined Dell as an international development manager in Texas and later had the opportunity to move to the UAE, where I gained further experience of leading technology organizations in the Middle East and Africa, including Lenovo and Epicor, before taking on my current role with Infor in January 2021.
TECHx: Being in a leadership role at Infor, how do you hope to contribute to the region’s digital transformation journey?
Amel: It’s a hugely exciting time in the technology industry in the region, with cloud, AI, edge computing, data analytics and 5G converging to offer enterprises immense opportunities to transform the way they operate, and offer new levels of innovation to their customers. The demand for digital transformation among both public and private sector organizations has never been greater, and our industry-specific cloud solutions are the ideal fit to help customers on their transformation journey.
I aim to contribute to the region’s digital transformation journey by leading our team to execute our business strategy and ensure that customers in the region are able to transform successfully and experience optimal productivity gains from Infor solutions.
I also hope to continue to encourage more women to enter the industry and move up the ranks. Organizations operate more successfully when they have a diverse workforce, and that includes greater gender diversity. Having a greater diversity of skills, insights and opinions at the table will improve all areas of business, including the ability of organizations to digitally transform.
TECH: Coming from a strong technology background and with great work experience in the same industry, what do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
Amel: The best aspect of being a woman in the tech industry is the ability to make a positive difference and change people’s opinions and perceptions. Women bring nuanced skills to the industry which can help improve customer outcomes and therefore improve business performance.
Many people think that you need to be aggressive to succeed in technology, but it’s not true. Each of the women I have worked within IT has brought strengths in their own way, and that is one of the reasons why – throughout my time in the sector – I have hired and developed many account managers who are calm and collected, and know how to get results without the stereotypical aggression. I believe that success is far more about the strength of character and other important traits including determination, confidence, empathy, and perception.
4. As a woman in technology, what message do you have for young female colleagues in the industry?
My message is simple: “Go for it! What have you got to lose?”. I would also like to tell women not to be intimidated by a new challenge: instead, see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace new challenges and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.