At the WomenTech Network, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful, global community of ambassadors who help us spread the word about our work and who helped us make the WomenTech Global Conference 2020 a success and continue helping us on or mission to unite women in tech. We would like you to meet these wonderful people as well; therefore, we’re going to be introducing you to some of our most active members.
Today, get to know Sara Metwalli:
Sara Ayman Metwalli is from Egypt. She studied her undergrad in The Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, where she got a bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. After that, she worked for 6 months as an Android Application Developer before traveling to Tokyo to pursue her postgrad studies in Computer and Communications Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology.
After her master's, Sara took a year off to do just research and learn about quantum mechanics and quantum physics, working as a part-time lecturer at Keio University as well as a CS instructor at Tokyo Coding Club. Finally, this year (April 2020), she's joined Keio as a Ph.D. student in the Keio/IBM quantum computing hub.
In my opinion, the biggest problem of the tech industry is that it is still very male-biased, despite all accomplishments done by women from the beginning of the field, the field remains male-biased and male dominant.
In Sara's Own Words:
What is the best part of being women in tech industry?
In my opinion, the best part about being in tech is killing the stereotypes that women are less smart or less creative than men.
Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
As a researcher who worked in different laboratories, most often the only woman in the team, yes, I do feel the lack of women in technology. I believe there are various reasons for why that is, some are cases-based and some are general. Nevertheless, I think the tech lead is so intimidating since it's mostly male-dominant which causes many women to withhold from joining in.
In some cases, women are not welcomed in the field, some companies (or even in the academic field) may ask explicitly for men (because they're more comfortable with them) or reject female candidates just because of their gender. I have also experienced being excluded by my teammates just because they don't want to deal with me as a woman because all of them are guys.
On another side, I teach programming to kids, and as I can see it, it's 85% boys to 15% girls, I see that girls tend to focus on design and artistic topics than tech topics. When I ask the parents, they would say, as a girl she will do better in the art topics.
Do you think we need to be writing code to be in the tech industry?
No, I don't think tech means only coding, there are researchers and organizers, they deal with tech as well, whether to develop it or to advertise it.