PWiC Seattle: Eid Social 2019

On Sunday, June 23, 2019, PWiC Seattle held its very first Eid social. The event was held at the beautiful Calcutta grill, located in the Golf Club of Newcastle. This was a unique event where the participants arrived dressed in their fancy Eid outfits and enjoyed listening to tech stories over a scrumptious brunch.

The event was hosted by Aisha Salman who introduced the three presenters from the PWiC Seattle team: Sarah Ilyas, Alishba Khawaja and Sarwat Ismail

Sarah Ilyas spoke about her personal story of breaking down barriers in her family where getting an education in STEM and living alone abroad after securing a job at Microsoft were considered transgressing social norms. She explained how she stayed determined and finished her degree in Computer Science and now takes pride in being financially independent to a point where she is able to support her family.

Sarah Ilyas

Alishba Khawaja shared her first GHC experience with the attendees. She discussed how she felt that her work experience was inadequate to apply to jobs at companies like Microsoft but she still submitted her resume. She was surprised when a Microsoft recruiter called her for interviews and she eventually ended up landing her first internship position at the company. She learned that even though her resume was lacking in experience, her one role where she taught Computer Science to students from underrepresented communities impressed the recruitment team immensely, and set her apart from other candidates.

Alishba Khawaja

Sarwat Ismail shared what it took to succeed in her 14 year long tech career at Microsoft. She talked about how she followed her calling of becoming a software developer by going back to the books after many missed years of writing code, while also juggling her crazy schedule with 3 young kids at home. She advised everyone to believe in themselves and to not let discouraging comments from others to break their spirit.

Sarwat Ismail

After the speakers stories, Aisha invited the attendees to share their tech journeys and the participation was overwhelming. At least 5 attendees shared their stories and lessons learned along the way.

PWiC Seattle Eid social was a delightful event with delicious food and insightful stories and it provided the attendees with an opportunity to network afterwards. Enjoy some more photos from this memorable event. Photo credits go to PWiC member Farah Khurrum who captured the event beautifully.

Sarwat Ismail is a Tech enthusiast with 14 years of industry experience. She is currently a Software Developer in Xbox, Microsoft and no, she does not play games all day. Sarwat is very passionate about mentoring fresh talent especially women in technology and takes great interest in coaching them into becoming thriving members of the industry. When she is not writing code, she takes an active role in college recruiting, giving campaigns and hackathons that help improve company culture.

She is a mother to three handsome but mischievous boys who keep her at her toes. In her free time, she loves to experiment with new baking recipes and makes and eats way too much banana bread. Want to learn more about Sarwat? Here is a super cool article by PWiC that details her journey in technology and accomplishments.

Pakistani Women in Computing

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PWiC is a global community of women in technology fields hailing from Pakistan and its global allies, with the aim of connecting, learning and growing together!