Bridge to Gender Equality Power 5 Interview - Dr. Soodeh Farokhi
Updated: Feb 28
The Bridge to Gender Equality Project is pleased to introduce you to Dr. Soodeh Farokhi (She/Her) who is one of our Advisory Committee Members.
What are you most passionate about?
My biggest passion as a female leader and immigrant is promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in society and the workplace and being a strong advocate for these values. Additionally, as a working mom of two little kids, while serving as a tech executive, I have a passion for balancing work and family responsibilities and breaking down traditional stereotypes and barriers for women, especially in the tech industry. I am an optimist and believe the future is better than what we think.
Who is your greatest role model?
Sheryl Sandberg, the former COO of Facebook and the author of "Lean In,". She is a prominent advocate for women in the tech industry and her work in promoting gender equality in the workplace is widely recognized. Her book "Lean In" had a significant impact on how I used to view women in executive roles and has helped me to change my incorrect perception that a successful executive woman cannot also have a fulfilling and meaningful personal life, be a good parent and partner, and have a work-life balance. Therefore, it made me think that I can be successful both in my professional and personal life.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your career trajectory?
One of my biggest career accomplishments is building two tech companies and scaling them to profitable businesses, as a young tech entrepreneur.
Additionally, finding a career position (tech product leadership) that can allow me to operate at my zone of excellence while raising a family with young kids.
What advice would you give to new or emerging leaders who are building their careers?
Build a strong network: when you need a relationship it is already late to build it.
Develop a clear vision, embrace new opportunities aligned with your vision, and do your best to have an impact in any positions you serve; Don’t let the stereotypes limit your imagination. You need to step out of your comfort zone to be able to grow.
Learn from experienced leaders as your mentors/coaches and surround yourself with people who believe in you: Imposter syndrome is a reality, especially for young leaders; at your challenging career moments, you need people who cheer your success and guide you without having any agenda.
Be authentic: be true to yourself, don’t pretend to be someone you are not, and don’t be afraid to express your unique point of view. This is the only way to build trust and respect with others.
Balance work and personal life: Building a successful career takes time and dedication, but it's also important to prioritize your personal life and well-being. Make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health and set boundaries between your work and personal life.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for the next generation?
Adopting Artificial intelligence and automation: The widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and automation is expected to change the nature of work and create new ethical dilemmas. Tech leaders will need to grapple with how to implement these technologies in a way that is fair and equitable for all.
Being aware of the importance of cybersecurity and data privacy: As technology becomes more integrated into every aspect of our lives, the need for robust cybersecurity systems will become increasingly important to protect personal and business data. Moreover, the increasing amount of data being collected and stored by companies raises concerns about privacy and the potential for misuse of personal information. Tech leaders will need to navigate this complex issue and find ways to protect personal data while still allowing for beneficial uses.
About Dr. Soodeh Farokhi (She/Her)
Dr. Soodeh Farokhi [sudɛ Færoki] is a visionary tech entrepreneur and a proven strategic executive with over a decade of exponential experience in the enterprise software space as a customer-centric technology and product leader. She has a solid dual tech-business view with broad experience building innovative software products and startups from the ground up to large-scale customer deployments. She is a leader with a track record of managing, inspiring, and empowering teams, building alignments, elevating autonomy, agility, and diversity, making the right decision under uncertainty, and accomplishing the vision. She is currently the VP of Product at NAKISA, a global leader in B2B HR and Finance software solutions. She is the founder and the former CTO at C2RO, an award-winning Canadian AI Video Analytics company.
Among her achievements, she's the finalist of the Canadian Women Entrepreneurs National Award (RBC, 2020), the finalist of the Young Quebec Entrepreneurs Provisional Award (ARISTA, 2018), and was recognized as an innovator transforming the AI Video Analytics industry (SAP, 2021). She is the co-founder and a former executive member of the Women of MENA in Technology, Montreal chapter. She serves as a business advisor, and board member for several tech startups, and organizations. She has a PhD. in computer science from Vienna and an M.Sc., and a B.Sc. in software engineering. She is a working mom and a DEI advocate who believes the future is better than what we think.
To learn more about the Bridge to Gender Equality Project, go HERE.