Breaking The Bias: Women at FX – Mariam Ketabi, Senior Director – Business Enablement Office

Breaking The Bias: Women at FX – Mariam Ketabi, Senior Director – Business Enablement Office

 

Mariam Ketabi embraces the challenge of simplification.  For Mariam, complex ideas, processes, and initiatives are meant to be broken down in a way that we all can understand and execute upon.   

“My team’s sole purpose is to make people’s lives easier,” Mariam says plainly. “We simply streamline technology-driven initiatives to increase productivity and eliminate time consuming and repetitive administration tasks.” 

While Mariam has a straightforward view of her role and purpose, there is nothing simple about what she does.  As Senior Director of the Business Enablement Office at FX Innovation, Mariam and her team have quite a responsibility – ensuring the tools and processes FX Innovation is using internally, meet the needs of the business.   

“While we address specific business needs, we also strive to build standard, reusable solutions that are easier to maintain and manage throughout their respective lifecycles.” 

 

For the Love of Math and Science 

As a little girl in Iran, Mariam had a deep curiosity around mathematics and always enjoyed finding the “solution” to elaborate equations.  

“I didn’t fall in love with IT at an early age, though. In fact, I didn’t even get my first computer until I was 17.  But once I took a few computer science courses in University I was hooked!” 

After finishing her bachelor’s degree at Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, Mariam started forging her path to technology. She began studying at EPITA, the school of engineers in computer intelligence, which was the first engineering school specializing in computer science in Paris, where she graduated as a software engineer. 

“When I graduated from EPITA in 2002 my class was just 3% female.  Now in 2022, that number is at 10%.  While there has been some progression, much more can be done to bring women into this field.” 

 

Changing The Story of Women and Technology 

“In the Middle East, there are more women than men in IT.  I was surprised to learn that there was such a discrepancy in representation when I began working in France and now Quebec.  I never thought of IT as being a masculine career.” 

When asked what she feels is causing the inequity between men and women in IT – just like in her role, Mariam takes the straightforward approach. 

“We need to demystify IT and the career opportunities it provides.  We need to present the diversity of professions within the field.  The outdated image that IT jobs are for introverts who only write lines of code in a corner all day without social interaction – that will not attract more young women.” 

Mariam goes on to point out that there is no aspect of IT that is inherently masculine or feminine.   

“Although technically trained and very analytical, I have a passion for “the human” and our brain that allows me to provide simple answers for all this complexity.” 

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