It is always inspiring to see Pakistanis making waves throughout the world with their talent and abilities to impress through their extensive knowledge and potential. There are many examples of Pakistanis truly making the country proud wherever they go.
In the recent years there has been a lot of focus on women in STEM in the country and efforts by multiple organizations are underway to encourage girls to pursue their careers in STEM. However, there are examples of successful women in STEM from Pakistan everywhere and one such is Dr. Maria Riaz, who graduated from NUST (MCS Rawalpindi) as a software engineer, and later received a PhD from North Carolina State University.
She currently works as a Senior Software Engineer at Google. Speaking about her school and life in Pakistan to Womenengineers.pk she said,
“My favorite subjects in school were Mathematics and Physics. I was always encouraged to develop an understanding of the subject over rote memorization. Later in undergrad, I really enjoyed logical reasoning and programming related courses. All of these provided a strong foundation for analytical thinking and problem solving. The knowledge itself, but more so the underlying skills to understand the requirements and constraints of a given situation and figure things out, definitely helps in day to day situations.”
Talking about the challenges she faced starting out her career, she said
“the biggest barrier was that people were constantly questioning my choice and I had to justify why I would rather not be a doctor or something deemed more suitable for women. I think it is important to realize that engineering is not one profession, there are many options available and many type of career paths and job opportunities to meet different types of interests within engineering. There is room for everyone to explore their individual strengths and passion when choosing a STEM career.”