Telecom Review Africa recently conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Houda CHIHI, Senior Researcher at Innov’COM Lab of Sup'COM Tunisia, and Chief Engineer at Tunisia Telecom, to explore the benefits of implementing digital transformation. During the interview, Dr. CHIHI shared insights on the role that technology can play in promoting gender equality and empowering women in society more broadly. She also discussed some of the challenges she has faced as a woman in the ICT industry.

What inspired you to pursue a career in ICT, and how did you get your start in the field?

What inspired me to pursue a career in ICT was my passion for new technologies and my interest in the ways in which they can transform and improve our lives. I have always been fascinated by the latest gadgets and advancements in the field, and I knew early on that I wanted to be a part of this exciting and dynamic industry.

What are some of the benefits that organizations can expect to see from implementing Digital Transformation, and how can they measure the success of these initiatives?

Digital transformation has the potential to revolutionize the way that organizations operate and interact with their customers. One of the main benefits of implementing digital transformation is task automation, which can lead to significant time savings and increased efficiency. By automating routine tasks, organizations can free up their employees to focus on higher-level strategic work and more valuable customer interactions.

However, it's important to note that implementing digital transformation is not just about the technology itself. The success of these initiatives is also heavily dependent on how well employees are trained to use these new tools and processes. Organizations must invest in proper training and change management to ensure that employees are fully equipped to adopt and leverage digital tools effectively.

In your opinion, what role can technology play in promoting gender equality and empowering women in society more broadly?

Digitalization helps in gender equality; for this, an effort is required to train girls and women and encourage them to join the STEMM field, which depends on collaboration between different stakeholders. ICT helps women in terms of communication, networking, finding jobs and diminishing the digital divide. The technology ensures many facilities for women to progress in education and find new opportunities. Technology helps in providing [women with] equal opportunities [just] as a man.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the ICT industry, and how have you overcome them?

Sometimes I had to work harder to reach a successful outcome. The solution to overcoming challenges in the ICT industry is to keep upskilling and improving our knowledge to find new opportunities.

As a woman leader in the ICT industry, what would you say to other women who may aspire to follow in your footsteps?

As a woman leader in the ICT industry, I would say that there are several things that women who aspire to follow in my footsteps can do to achieve their goals:

  • Believe in yourself: The first and most important step to success is to believe in yourself. Women often face imposter syndrome and self-doubt, but it's important to recognize your own strengths and abilities and have confidence in your skills. Believe that you can achieve your goals, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
  • Build your network: Networking is crucial in the ICT industry, as it can open up new opportunities, provide mentorship and guidance and help you establish your reputation. Attend conferences, join professional organizations and connect with other women in the industry. Building a strong network can help you overcome challenges and build your career.
  • Be persistent: Success doesn't happen overnight, and it's essential to be persistent and dedicated to achieving your goals. Women in the ICT industry may face numerous obstacles and barriers, such as gender bias, discrimination and a lack of opportunities. But persistence is key, and by continuing to work hard, persevere and never give up, you can overcome these challenges and achieve your dreams.
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