- Victoria Tech Journal
- Community spotlight: Humaira Ahmed
Community spotlight: Humaira Ahmed
Emerging Leader of the Year award finalist for the 2022 Victoria Tech Community Awards.
The Victoria Tech Community Awards showcase the community of 1,000 companies and 17,000 workers who push innovation forward, and drive the city’s $4 billion tech economy. Our spotlight series highlights award finalists and winners so you can get to know them a little bit better. Read about other community members here.
Today, we’re featuring Humaira Ahmed, CEO of Locelle.
What does leadership in a technology business mean to you?
As an immigrant from Pakistan with a background in software engineering, and being a mother of two girls, it means a lot to have representation. Most CEOs and leaders in the tech industry are men (predominantly white) and that makes it even harder for underrepresented folks to see themselves in those positions. I love that I get to challenge the status quo and break the stereotype, and show my girls — and other girls and women — that they too can lead in a male-dominated industry like tech, and do well. I love that I get to showcase a different face of leadership.
What professional growth advice about success would you give individuals who are early in their careers?
This is just something I have recently learned: success has no one-size-fits-all meaning. Most people, including me, associate success with how much money you have, how much revenue your company is making, how many people we employ, and how we are progressing professionally.
The truth is that in the end, achieving all that does not make everyone happy. Instead of going after society's idea of success, we should focus on learning; making mistakes and growing; being a better version of ourselves; making this world a better place; feeling joy; living in the present; and focusing on progress, not perfection – because that simply does not exist. Try to do many different types of jobs, see what excites you, what you want to be better at, and work toward that, versus how much money a certain job pays. If you do what you love and do it really well, money will come!
Who do you admire for their leadership and why?
While there are many leaders who I look up to and admire locally and globally for different reasons, one that I have had the pleasure to get to know really well is Pamela Potts, director of people and culture at StarFish Medical in Victoria.
Pamela's leadership competencies are exemplary. She is the type of leader that I aspire to be like and one I think has the ability to influence and support people in a way that positively impacts them. I try to schedule coffee chats with her whenever I can. She makes me want to be a better servant leader. Her personality, capabilities, knowledge, wisdom, and listening with intention are all things I wish to embody.
Why is this nomination important to you?
To have been nominated by a team-member means more than anything. It shows that beyond the community recognition, the people I have the privilege of leading feel that I deserve it. It is also important from a representation perspective. Representation matters — to show people that hard work, laser-focus on your mission, authenticity, courage, and persistence pay off. To show my girls that their mother may work a lot more than they would like but it means something — there are rewards for hard work, and being recognized is just one of the ways to show and feel it.