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What Does it Take to Make it to the Top for Women? BQE Female Leaders Give Tips on How to Accelerate Your Path and How That’s Easier with a Supportive CEO

Female leaders at BQE Software have rated their CEO as supportive of women in the workkplace & they share their advice for other female professionals.

As we celebrate our CEO and Founder Shafat Qazi winning the Top 50 Best CEOs today, as featured in USA TODAY among 50,000 companies, we asked our female executives why they have been successful and why having a leader who sees there are no boundaries defined by gender is the single most important trait to look for in a manager.

In today’s society, where gender gaps are still prevalent, it makes us feel honored to work with a CEO that equally respects all employees. The women of BQE rated him as a top leader based on how well respected they feel in the workplace, if they feel heard, and if they feel they have equal opportunity for growth, among other criteria. Check out what some of the women in tech had to say and let us know your thoughts!

Setareh Motamedi, VP of Marketing, BQE Software

What advice do you have for women in the workplace?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions: stay positively curious, ask about the future of the business and get involved outside the four corners of your role.
  • Don't just run the business, change the business. Proceed with confidence: as long as you continue to learn and stay educated, you should take ownership of your expertise and put forward your knowledge and skills with confidence. Far too often, women in leadership roles succumb to the “impostor syndrome,” assuming others know more or have more experience — when in fact, they may not. Or maybe you have new ideas that can push boundaries.
  • Select your career based on your manager, NOT the company. You can work for the best company in the world but your manager will be your gateway to the top. Pick a manager who isn’t afraid to let you take the reigns and is equally invested in your growth as they will determine your next steps.

What’s your favorite quote?

  • “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

What was the best decision you made that got you where you are? Why was that change difficult?

  • The decision to leave AT&T while at the top to pursue another opportunity and starting over at another company. It was a difficult decision because I loved my job but I knew it would take me longer than I wanted to move up in the corporate ladder, and I don’t believe in waiting years to make it to the top. If you are hungry for it, take it! It was a difficult change to start over but ultimately let me accelerate my title and experience, which led me to where I am today.

Samina Masoodi, BQE Software SVP of Sales

What advice do you have for women in the workplace?

  • Work hard and take pride in the job done well.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up, even if you are the only one speaking in favor of an idea.
  • Never stop learning, even if you reach the highest ladder of your profession.

What’s your favorite quote?

  • “You be the change you want to see in the world.”

What was the best decision you made that got you where you are? Why was that change difficult?

  • Moving from research to Sales. Had I not done that, I would never have known that I have the right attitude and great people personality. Both of these personality attributes are so essential for a successful Sales career.
  • Yes, it was quite a difficult shift from a Masters in Biochemistry research career (quiet scientist doing work in a lab) to Sales (working and interacting with people from morning to evening). Apart from a basic course in computer sciences in college, my knowledge about software and technology, in general, was pretty rudimentary. Between raising two kids and running a home, I had to work many long days and longer nights just to keep up. During the initial years, I often worked off of “cheat sheets” to be able to make any sense when talking to clients. I was nervous and not quite sure I would last long. Looking back now, I have enjoyed every moment of my interaction with my clients and have had the opportunity to meet the most wonderful people out there, some of whom have become dear friends along the way.

Rueen Andrabi, COO, BQE Software

What advice do you have for women in the workplace?

  • Know your worth – don’t be afraid to negotiate or speak up for yourself and others.
  • Make space for yourself. You deserve a seat at the table. Take it.
  • Build connections with women around you.

What’s your favorite quote?

  • “You don’t need a title to be a leader, you lead by example.”

What was the best decision you made that got you where you are? Was that a difficult one?

  • Switching my career as a software programmer to HR & Operations, which is an example of taking a risk to do what you like & trusting your passion. It was difficult but worth the struggle.

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