After completing my BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I joined Grameenphone in September 2015 as a management trainee under the ‘NBL- Next Business Leader’ program. Initially, thousands of candidates applied for this. After an extensive recruitment process, which consisted of multiple layers of evaluation, only five cadidates were finally selected. For the next nine months, we went through training in a real work environment through continuous engagement with various units of the organization in different places of the country. It helped us to get a 360 degree view of the whole organization.
Then came the time when we started to join a particular team and incept our working tenure. Grameenphone is the pioneering ICT organization of the country providing vast range of communication services. In such a large organization, there are so many domains, both technical and non-technical, where there are scopes to contribute. Even within the technology division, there are several departments such as network planning, service operations, regional operations etc, consisting of large number of units. So, choosing a team is an interesting as well as an important decision. Eventually, I started working in the core service operations team.
One thing you can’t help but notice is how there are such a small number of women, specialy in Bangladesh, in IT, and even more so in the core operational domain. Before joining in the core, I was aware that it would be a tough journey ahead. Working in technology core team is a 24/7 job, particularly in Grameenphone which is serving the critical communication needs of more than 65 million people of Bangladesh. Maintaining work life balance is really tough here. Particularly because you are handling the most critical network parameters and a small change in execution can affect the 65 million subscribers anytime.
But I wanted to make significant contribution in technology, and I was determined to take up any challenge to pursue my career in it. I never hesitated to take up any professional chore. Travelling alone in different regions for troubleshooting and O&M, working till late hours , or keep myself prepared for all kind of issues at any time of the day – I did all of those. These are always part of my job that I am responsible for, and I can never let anything block my way. Luckily I never had people around me, in home or office, who tried to restrict me on what I could do or I could not do.
I feel mindset is actually the most important thing. I think the traditional perception that technology is a male dominated area is fading quickly. This change is seen across different sectors and social lives in our country and women have now started entering into every field. In every profession, no matter how much critical it is, women have proved their excellence.
Yes, gender gap prevails in our society and if women strongly want to eliminate that, we need to step up. Women need to take full responsibility to bring the change and create success stories. No support system alone, no organization alone can make this change.
No job is easy, regardless of the nature and work environment. So technology, IT and ICT will not be easy either. But success comes to those who believe in themselves and dedicate everything to their passion and commitment. If technology is what motivates you, if this is what you are passionate about, then nothing can stop you. Ultimately the most important thing is to always stay true to yourself and be willing to do whatever it takes to pursue your aspirations.