InterviewsWomen in Technology

Flexibility and Perspective is Key

Joumana Karam, the Marketing and Product BU Head for the Middle East at Acer, speaks about why she chose IT as a career choice, the next breakthroughs in the world of technology, and her advice for women looking to break into the field of technology

Tell us about your philosophy, when it comes to your domain of expertise.
Listen and read carefully. Gather all available data and check its validity. A solution to any problem or obstacle can always be found, which is why flexibility and perspective is key. Finally, always prioritize helping colleagues/teammates to complete their tasks.

Why did you choose IT to advance your career?
At school, I developed a fascination for Maths and the Sciences and performed well in these subjects. Also, my aunt and uncle were my role models who were both engineers in the telecommunications and civil engineering industries, which led to me studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering at university. It was in my last year when I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in IT and be a part of the new innovations that would change our everyday lives.

Have you witnessed any transformation in the technology industry?
Throughout the course of my career, I have witnessed the growth of the Internet and the boom of cloud computing which has become ubiquitous today and has led to a new way of living and communicating. The growth of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on social media platforms, digital advertising and the creation of new products has also been a significant transformation. From a hardware perspective, I have seen an evolution from bulky desktops with limited specs to light and stylish laptops with high capacity, such as the Acer Swift 7.

Where, according to you, is the next technology transformation going to come from?
Cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence will continue to revolutionise technology. In addition, any new technology that will deal with the vast amounts of data that people are creating every second of their lives, will also revolutionize the industry as we know it.

What is your advice to women looking to break into the field of technology?
IT is a very interesting and creative field. Take the risk and explore the world that technology will uncover. Who knows, you might just be the next great inventor. I would also encourage your daughters to study and work in IT if they ever express interest.

Are you involved in any sort of charity work?
I do help the community whenever possible, through the CSR initiatives that we support at Acer Middle East, as well as helping St Mary’s Catholic Church and St Francis Catholic Church, in my spare time. On the other hand, as a member of Dubai Chamber Choir, we do raise funds every year for multiple charity foundations during our annual concerts.

What is next for you in terms of your career in the tech industry?
My goals are to be able to lead diverse teams in this ever-changing industry, be at the forefront of the promotion of new technologies and be an inspiration for the next generation, including my daughter.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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