Features, International Women’s Day - March 8, 2022

#BreaktheBias: Najma AlWadi, Chief Technology Officer, Tamkeen


To commemorate the International Women’s Day, we are featuring women who have made notable contributions in their respective industries. We aim to explore the tenacity of each and discover how they pushed boundaries to rise to the top. 

What does the 2022 International Women’s Day slogan, #BreaktheBias mean for you in your work life?

This year’s slogan #BreaktheBias means a lot to me because it’s an acknowledgment and reminder of the importance of giving equal opportunities for women to progress and get ahead in their fields. It is a reminder that bias against women still exists, and how it stands as a barrier between women and achieving career growth and success. 

This slogan raises awareness about bias and poses a call to action to identify ways to break the bias and create opportunities for women to shine and thrive. 

What is the main challenge that you’ve faced as a woman in your industry?

Being a leader in the technology field is not an easy ride for a woman. I had to work twice as hard to prove my abilities. I’m also a mother and wife, navigating all these roles is a challenging task. 

However, I would like to emphasize on the recognition, support and belief I received from the people around me, including my management and colleagues who supported me during difficult times. I was also very lucky to have great support system to overcome many of the challenges I came across and make opportunities out of them

What has been the most empowering moment in your career?

I remember that I was called the Star of IT, which made me very proud! Overall, I’ve experienced various challenges in my work life, as well as many achievements worth celebrating. Personally, there are two aspects of achievements that stick in my mind and make me proud: one is my work and the other is my team.  

I think one of the most empowering moments in my career life was the launch of ila Bank. This was one of the biggest achievements of my career, to build a fully digital bank from scratch. Projects going live is one of my favorite moments.

Which powerful woman do you admire the most and why?

My mom. She passed away six years ago but she will always be my superhero. She used to be an outstanding teacher who was loved by everyone around her, a caring mother of 8 children, a loveable wife and community-oriented person. 

My siblings and I were raised by this remarkable lady who made sure that we follow ethics, accountability, responsibility, and honesty. She taught us how to deal with people around us and how to make an impact on the society. 

She inspired me to fight and reach for the sky. She never accepted me being other than #1 in anything I do. She always made me believe that I can do the impossible. 

Even during her sickness, she never gave up and was looking after all of us like true leaders do. 

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

Start an objective-driven life and healthy habits early. Learn more leadership and influence skills, analytical thinking, social skills and build self-confidence.

Do you have any advice for women wanting to start their own business or work their way up the ladder? 

Find what you are great at and invest to make it better. Never stop dreaming and always invest in learning. Give a purpose to what and why you do things.  In case you are not sure or need guidance, reach out to other people who can share their experiences. Also, use your network! Women are really good in that.

Don’t be influenced by unimportant factors or negative people. 

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