International Women's Day- Leah Shafik

Leah Shafik

Leah Shafik

Why do you think International Women’s Day is important?

Personally, I think there is still a long way to go for equality and equity for women. Having a day to highlight the achievements of women will ensure that there are positive role models for all generations.

What are some achievements of yours?

Last year was particularly difficult for me, personally. My biggest achievement was asking for help. I have done many things, won awards, got the job I want and own my own home, but nothing felt more of an achievement than asking for help when I was emotionally in chaos. Too often we are told to just ‘carry on’. And it’s easy, as a woman, to brush it off and continue to do everything for everyone else. However, I finally asked for some help, and it has changed my life. There is so much strength in doing that. I achieved the recognition that allowing to show vulnerability is ok.

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

I still don’t think it has changed much. There is a long way to go. I still don’t see much female representation in senior roles. More than there has been but not really enough. These things take time though and the work that is being done is definitely helping but there is a long way to go.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in tech?

I think there is more women in tech than we realise because the senior, more visible, members of the team are male/non female. There is often this notion that to be able to compete with the men at the top you have to become them, be ruthless, have banter. My most important piece of advice is to be yourself. Don’t change who you are to get ahead. Businesses that thrive and grow are the ones with the most diversity. Oh and never get your pen and pad out first at a meeting that is predominantly male so they don’t ask you to ‘take minutes’.