“From developing products to leading a diverse global team, Wahed has empowered me to accomplish heights in my career at a pace that I wouldn’t have achieved elsewhere. I am proud to be a Woman in Tech at Wahed!”
Tell us more about your role at Wahed?
My official title is Engineering Manager at Wahed. My role involves directing, planning, and coordinating activities while supervising a team of engineers. It’s juggling people management, project management, and technical knowledge to deliver the right product, the right way. I am responsible for working on multiple projects at the same time, assembling and managing diverse teams of engineers from various disciplines, developing and implementing strategies, and coordinating with other managers. It also includes researching and coding new designs and products, and overseeing all the activities related to each project. There is a lot to learn and balance at the same time. There’s no one description that fits all. Duties vary from one job to another, so the role itself is very fluid. Just like technology, it evolves. You grow into it in your own way, by trial and error.
What is the number one reason you work with Wahed?
Prior to joining Wahed, I worked for an MNC, which did not provide me with the hands-on, direct customer-oriented experience like we get here at Wahed. It was a small start-up when I joined, and I saw it as my best chance to do something constructive. I recall being a part of the first launch of the app in the United Kingdom. This was done by a group of 4-5 engineers. It was incredible! Working for the big guys is like working for a very small entity, and you never know how your work is reflected. The moment we start coding, we know we're reaching out to a satisfied customer, and through our app, we make sure their experience is seamless.
How do you stay motivated at work?
So, at Wahed, we use the most up-to-date technology stack available! That motivates me because we are learning something new every minute of the day. Technology changes every day and there is a lot to adapt to! You'll never catch up. So people who are familiar with the type of technical slack we work with will have an idea of how much knowledge we gain from it. Not only that, but Junaid is our age - the fact that the CEO, tech lead, and tech developer are all from similar age groups. The energy just flows from there!
It was a bit of a struggle when we first started out four years ago. We were all pulling all-nighters and working hard for the first launch. However, the company has grown at such a rapid pace that the teams have become larger and more supportive. If I need to take time off to care for my child or fulfill domestic responsibilities, another team member is always willing to fill in for me. And because we all do that for one another, I'd say work-life balance is fairly well maintained.
Name one thing you love about Wahed's company culture.
The rich culture! One aspect of the company culture that stands out is that regardless of where we come from, we all work together as a team dedicated to the mission. Even in technology, I work with Europeans from Poland and Ukraine, as well as from Dubai and Mumbai.
What can be done to attract and retain more female talent in the Fintech industry?
At Wahed I never felt unequal as a woman in technology. Even though the male to female ratio in our technology team is higher, no one notices the difference. It is solely based on the fact that the more talent you have, the more you will grow. That would be extremely beneficial to women in Fintech, as it has been beneficial to me. You work hard, demonstrate your talent, and deserve to be recognised - regardless of gender. I strongly believe that more companies out there can retain female employees by appreciating them equally.
Tell us something you love about your hometown. What are some places you visit when you go back for a vacation?
I’ve lived in several states. Dubai, Kerala, and Hyderabad. I was born in Dubai and spent my entire childhood there. I married a Kerala-ite, so I enjoy the greenery when I return for vacation with my husband! As it's quite the opposite of living in Dubai. Wayanad is a beautiful place that I recommend visiting if one is in Kerala. And, my native place being Hyderabad, I always come back home to eat biryani! Hyderabadi biryani is an absolute must!
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