The world is currently facing the fourth industrial revolution. It is revolving the world we live in and taking it to a new level. Technology has transformed us as humans. It has connected us in ways like never before. It made our lives easier but the demand of the practice is what men and women are facing.
As known, men are dominating the computing sector. It is no exception for Libyans. Unfortunately, women are underestimated when it comes to studying and working in computing. However, Libyan women are improving themselves in STEM (Science. Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
We, in ArabWIC, believe in women capabilities and potentials. We have a numerous number of women in the field of computer science and engineering in general. In this article, we will be showcasing an interview we had with one of the greatest role models and engineers, Professor and Engineer Khadija Benmusa.
She is a computer engineer from Libya. She is married with two children. She graduated from University of Tripoli in 1989. She has worked as a teacher assistant in the department from 1993 until 2000. She decided to get her master’s degree so in 2003; she got her Master’s degree in Engineering in computer and communication from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She became one of the teaching staff (lecturer) in 2004.
Professor Khadeja Benmusa has worked as a lecturer in University of Tripoli, Libya. She has worked in Libyana Mobile Phone Company as a project manager and consultant. Also, she has worked as an instructor for different training centers for Microsoft Office and Network courses. She has played major roles in management and consultancy in General Post and Telecommunication Company (GPTC).
Here are some of the questions we asked her :
- What made you choose computer science engineering ?
At that time there weren’t a lot of girls that studied in the computer engineering department, so it was challenging and I wanted to take that challenge. Even though my family wanted me to study medicine, I saw my future in computers.
- What type of challenges have you faced in technology ?
I have faced a variety of challenges during my career as an engineer, whether teaching in labs that had a shortage of main equipment or companies that lacked proper resources. But perhaps being a woman in a field that is predominately male was that most difficult challenge to overcome. As many other women in my field as well as in other fields, we have to work twice as hard to convince our colleagues that we are as good as our male counterparts and even better sometimes. As a mother and as a wife, that often created conflict between my career and my family life, staying late or traveling as the job requires put a burden on my familial duties.
- How did you overcome obstacles?
My confidence and the support of my family and colleagues give me the power to overcome the obstacles that came in my way.
- What do you advise Libyan women about this field ?
I believe the best advice that could give to young female engineers and the leaders of tomorrow are to believe in themselves. Work hard and do your best to learn something new every day. Be fair, goal oriented and most of all do not listen to words that try to lessen your confidence and people who want to see you fail. You have the strength and the ability to do anything you dream of as long as you believe in yourselves. Best of luck to you all.
Written by Malak Altaeb .