Zameela, the Software Developer and Database Administrator

MV Plus | March 24, 2022

“Back in the day, people thought that women are incapable to thrive in the IT field,” says Zameela, who is now a software developer and database administrator working in the development of government digital services for over 15 years.

Zam first discovered her interest in the technology field after A-level at the age of 18, when she first joined Government Network of Maldives project at National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT). Since then, Zam has been working tirelessly and playing essential roles in various tech projects across the government. These projects also include developing the first tax and revenue management system, MIRA online services.

“When it comes to men, people don’t doubt their capacity to get the job done. But when it’s about a woman, it’s a different story,” she says, recalling how differently she was treated over the years.

“While I was doing my masters, lectures would ask me if I was a housewife. But I was studying the same course and studied in the same class as my husband. No one questioned him,” says Zam, explaining how people made assumptions based on her looks when she was studying her masters aboard.

Zam went on to prove them wrong by winning the Best Thesis Award from her batch.

“You need to be loud so your voice is heard.”

“Since the beginning, I tell my supervisors to give me a chance and this is how all this started.” She added that she hopes to see more women work in the technology field and says that girls and women should not be hesitant to enter the ICT field.

“Many times, girls will study towards an IT degree and then take up a management position job or some other unrelated job which requires very less technical skills. They need to have the courage as well as the support to enter into technical fields such as software engineering, database management or cyber security,” says Zam, who felt that number of women in the industry is very low in comparison to men, as it is an easy field to get into.

“During my years of working, I have met many women who are brilliant data scientists, software developers, or tech experts, but you wouldn’t know that by just looking at them.”

Zam hopes that her story as well as the many other women working in the ICT sector in the Maldives can inspire the next generation to break through and become pioneers of technology in the Maldives.

– Photostories in partnership with Women in Tech Maldives