In our latest series of articles, we want to highlight the wonderful women from Pakistan who are the movers and shakers of their tech scene. Pakistan is a country which earns a reputation for all the wrong reasons. However, it is full of amazing and talented people. In this article we focus on Sukaina Abbas. She is a software engineer by training, who is successfully running a brand for Silver jewellery called Enchanté.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, your work and your motivations.
Although a software engineer by degree, I am a homemaker and entrepreneur who is happy designing and running a brand of Silver jewellery called Enchanté. This entrepreneurial journey was not planned, but I believe now that it was meant to be. The brand turns 4 this year.
Do you think Pakistan has changed as a society, in terms of letting women take on jobs?
From the little progress I see around in the society, I believe we still have a long way to go in terms of gender-biased salaries, well-deserved promotions, maternity leave/benefits and other issues such as workplace harassment etc.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I think there are a lot of factors that contribute to this issue, the top ones being male chauvinism, lack of equal opportunities and prejudice against female authority/decision making.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
Now, this is a tough one! I would say probably the best decisions were the ones where there was contentment in the result and no regrets. The bad ones were those where emotion or influence overrode logic and prevented a clear, unbiased perspective which caused misjudgment.
What woman inspires you and why?
The list is too long to name one but what all these women have in common is their unwavering determination and courage to never give up.
Do we have any role models for women? If not, what can we do to create them in Pakistan?
Of course, we do!! We have so many Pakistani women who are breaking glass ceilings, bringing change through their work and empowering other females.
Is there a neutral platform or forum for women to discuss their career needs?
Yes, we have a few. For instance for women in the field of Technology, we have the ‘Women-in-tech-pk’, a group run by my friend Faiza Yousuf, which not only is a strong interactive network of support but also a help in career guidance and counselling.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The coming generation although lucky to have double the opportunities we did, will face the daunting task of making an impact in the saturated fields which will be much more competitive than the present times.
What needs to change to help more women come forward?
In order to help more women come forward, we need equal opportunities for them, viable infrastructure, support centres, mentors etc.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
To have the best education for all women, they are so brilliant and hardworking …all they need is a chance to shine.
How can OxGadgets and its readers help you and other women of the industry?
There is a lot that can be done but a small step would be to help raise awareness about the issues and highlight their achievements.
You can find out more about Sukaina Abbas and her brand by checking out the links below. We do encourage you to hire her for any project you may have in mind, and of course, buy her wonderful jewellery.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/enchantesilver