< Back To Blog

International Women’s Day: Celebrating Leaders in Tech

Celebrating Leaders in Tech

Symend is proud to have many strong leaders in technology with various backgrounds and a highly diverse team, made up of over 35% women, with 26% at the director level or higher.

When thinking about women in technology, it’s exciting to imagine what the future holds. From Ada Lovelace’s groundbreaking algorithm discovery to Marissa Mayer’s impactful Google search interface design, women have been making history in technology for centuries. As Forbes points out, women in tech inspire role modelling, boost business performance and foster innovation.

Celebrating two advanced analytics leaders at Symend

Meet Ivona Contardo and Fatemeh Torabi Asr, female tech leaders and Managers of Advanced Analytics at Symend:

Tell me about your career journey

Ivona: I had my sights set on pursuing health sciences – then I realized in my first year of university that I missed mathematics. I pursued a PhD in statistical learning theory and soon after became a statistics lecturer. Eventually, I met Symend’s Co-Founder and CEO, which led me to pivot from academia to the startup world. It was a scary move, but seeing his passion and vision was inspiring – I saw humanity in the way past due customers are engaged for the first time.

Fatemeh: It took some time to transition from academic life completing my PhD in engineering science to finding my ideal job in industry. I wanted to work in a role that would align with my values, make me proud of the projects I work on and enable me to fuel social change. It took a lot of skill-building and job market research. Joining Symend gave me the chance to tackle problems that no one has explored before through cutting-edge technology and apply the research collected during my many years in academia.

Tell me about your role at Symend

Ivona: I’m responsible for advanced analytics and models that inform strategy for behavioral scientists. I’ve built a team that inspires me every day. While everyone is so vastly different, we all rally behind the same goal of helping people and are motivated to find new ways to think differently about the problems we solve. From getting to know each other for the first time remotely to fiercely delivering on the strategy of advanced analytics, the team works so well together.

Fatemeh: Analyzing communication between our clients and their customers is my focus. It’s fascinating to learn about unique customer challenges and the different problems our clients face. I enjoy working closely with my team to dive into new problems and understand them thoroughly before delivering innovative solutions through technology.

What do you love most about leading advanced analytics?

Ivona: It’s a privilege to apply interesting theoretical-based techniques with my team to solve real-world problems and achieve our social mission of supporting customers when they need it most. Working with people from around the world gives me exposure to different backgrounds and perspectives. Diversity underpins the strength of our team.

Fatemeh: It’s gratifying to apply machine learning methods to customer data to understand customers better and treat them with empathy. We explore problems that are new to Symend and industry as we create a new category, and my team and I embrace the challenge of learning new things every day. I also enjoy working with so many smart and experienced people within the organization as Symend attracts top talent from around the world.

What does it mean to be a female leader in tech?

Ivona: Being in a leadership position means you have the responsibility to empower others through mentorship and advice. Diversity in tech is important because everyone has a different way of approaching problems – the more difference in opinion, the better decisions you can make.

Fatemeh: Gender barriers exist from the time you enter education to the time you’re immersed in the job market – I stay motivated by owning my potential. It’s your qualifications that make you successful, not your gender. Women in tech are important because technology is used by people of all backgrounds, so the creators of that technology need to be just as diverse.

What advice would you give to aspiring women in tech?

Ivona: Traditionally, there used to be a singular career path to achieve your goal. In modern times that isn’t the case, so begin wherever you are. Try to start working with data right away, regardless of your role, and prove your ability to work with data from the beginning. Remember that role models are out there to help make success attainable.

Fatemeh: Look to the tech community – there are conferences, associations, competitions and resources to tap into to stay up-to-date with trends and new technologies. Reach out for feedback and mentorship, and in return, share what you have learned with your network.

Ready to embrace the challenge?

Symend is always on the lookout for the best and brightest leaders in technology with diverse backgrounds to own their potential as we solve complex problems through innovative solutions that make the impossible, possible.

Symend grew the team by five times in 2020, with plans to double the team size in 2021. We are looking for passionate women in tech to join the vision of transforming the science of customer engagement on a global scale.

Think you’d be a good fit? We want to hear from you!