Meet our first remarkable woman, Alicia Pillay Senior Business Analyst at ITBusiness
Tell us about how you came to have a career in technology
I studied chemical engineering which I enjoyed, however once I completed my studies I found it was very difficult to find work in the engineering industry. My love for problem solving and my search for a career with more job opportunities led me to the technology industry. I feel the technology industry challenges my mind and also gives me an opportunity to interact more with people and business.
For other women contemplating pursuing a career in technology, what advice can you give?
What do you wish you had known when you entered the industry?
Being a woman in any industry that was previously male dominated has it’s challenges. My advice is to work hard and work smart (both are important), never give up and don’t be too hard on yourself, failure is an important part of learning. Be successful not because you are a woman or because you have something to prove, be successful because you owe it to yourself.
I wish I had known that the ability to speak proficiently and professionally to a group of people or audience is important in any career. If I knew this I would have starting practicing this skill a long time ago.
With the #challengeaccepted movement doing the rounds on social media, what do you
I think women in business and particularly women in tech can do to uplift and support other women in business? What would you like to see more of, in this regard?
I think it is important to encourage females to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Their interest in these subjects should be sparked at a young age so that they won’t be afraid or shy away from these careers once they leave school. If they learn, engage and interact with these subjects at a young age, then they will have the courage to pursue STEM careers.
I would also like to see women being more accepting and understanding towards other women. It’s enough that we have to compete with men at times. Less friction and hostility amongst women in the workplace is something we should strive for.
Who do your draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my mom. She had the courage to start her own business at a young age. She is a successful business owner who has accomplished so much. She doesn’t give up despite experiencing difficulty being a woman in her industry. She just keeps setting the bar higher and higher, achieving her goals and growing.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the next generation of women and how can we be a strong role model for them?
I think the biggest challenge for the next generation is the emphasis placed on physical appearance, and this is predominantly brought on by technology and social media. I think instead of worrying about how they look on social media, woman should worry about how they can lead the industry, innovate and create major break-throughs in technology and social media. Women should ask themselves, how can they be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs? We need more female pioneers in this industry!!