This weekend we spotted Didem Ün Ates, a multiple award-winning Tech Leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence, sharing valuable advice on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, tips on how to manage different business areas in an efficient way, her view on how crucial for her career was to break out of her comfort zone and how she managed to overwhelm when she had covid last year.
- The importance of Diversity & Inclusion
“It’s incredibly important to have a diverse product development team to create the right solutions not only for the majority but also minorities,” Didem Ün Ates, GM Data & AI Acceleration Customer Success in EMEA Microsoft, said as a guest to the ‘Focus Bee’ podcast episode of Katie Stoddart highlighting the importance of female presence in the tech industry.
“From my experience, I have seen how amazing these technologies are and how much we can change the world for the better through these powerful technologies. However, they do come with their challenges and risks. These challenges impact minorities and especially females in detrimental ways”.
Before the pandemic, there were only 10- 12% of females in data AI space technology. In the broader technologies ecosystem, that percentage could reach 20% depending on the country. That’s not enough and unfortunately, after the COVID we know that minorities and especially female tech talents were hit the hardest due to layoffs.
- Managing different business areas efficiently
“For me to feel whole and happy with myself it’s a holistic combination of many things. You need to bring in revenue, do good partnerships, do good client work, that’s a given. But around that, it is very important for me personally to feel good about what am I giving back to society, how I am balancing my relationships with my friends, my teammates, my colleagues, if I am inspiring them if I am a good role model and of course my family time”
“I actually have a visualization board where this is what I do in education and technology this is what I do for diversity and inclusion and I really think of that visual almost every morning”.
- Dealing with overwhelming through slowing down
“There were many times when I felt like that there were so many amazing things to do but I had COVID in April and I had three relapses. There was a day when I couldn’t really breathe. So it really makes you think about of course death and how close it is. My takeaway from those three experiences with COVID was to get my act together because this is the universe’s way of telling you to slow down.
I learned the hard way. But, for now, I am keeping a very close eye out on my health, my sleep, even my heart rate. When things are showing bad signs for my health, I slow down, I meditate, I take a walk, I sleep and that really comes first. I learned it too late but health comes first.”
- Pushing through the glass ceiling
“In terms of self-leadership, the important is to push not break my own glass ceilings, my mental constraints. The earlier you break out of your comfort zone break those ceilings that we create for ourselves the better it is.
Most important of all is embracing obstacles, crises, constraints, I’m sorry to say obnoxious people, horrible projects as springboards. I always visualize the lotus flower for instance in these situations. Lotus flower it’s such a gorgeous one and yet it grows in the most disgusting, smelliest, muddiest waters. So I always think of that when I come across a difficult situation, I just think what kind of a lotus flower can I nurture in this situation, so actually it turns into a beautiful thing, it turns into an advantage”.
Enjoy Didem Ün Ates this weekend and her inspiring talk on the ‘Focus Bee’ episode with Katie Stoddart on diversity, inclusion, and leadership.
Moonshot Interview: Didem Ün Ates: The responsibility to speak up is really on everyone of us