We will chat about Sabina and Salma's career journey and key lessons. She will also be discussing challenges throughout her journey and sharing advice.
City of San Ramon, CA
Salma Ataullahjan was born in Mardan, Pakistan, in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Daughter of Saranjam Khan, a former Pakistani Senator, and Granddaughter of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (“Bacha Khan”), leader of a non-violent Muslim movement for independence from British rule, Salma attributes her political aspirations to the environment in which she grew up.
She arrived in Canada as a young bride in the early 80s, settling in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). After more than 30 years in the GTA, she has made a lasting impression in the community because of her commitment and dedication to others. A natural consensus builder, Salma has been actively involved in several organizations, notably The Citizens Foundation, Canadian Pashtun Cultural Association, and South Asian Regional Council of Canada. Destined to follow in her family’s inspirational footsteps, Salma was appointed to the Canadian Senate in the summer of 2010 as a representative for the province of Ontario.
As the first Canadian Senator of Pakistani origin, she stands for the ethnic diversity of all Canadians. In the Senate, Salma is Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as the Standing Committee on National Finance. She is committed to issues affecting women and youth, having proposed several recognized studies in the Human Rights committee - one on women’s engagement in Afghanistan, another on cyberbullying of children under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Canada.
Salma also serves as Past President of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organization of parliaments that holds the objective of fostering contacts, coordination and the exchange of experience among parliamentarians from 159 countries. She played a critical role in a landmark resolution on maternal, newborn and child health, the first time a resolution of its kind was adopted by the IPU. Because of this, she was named the IPU’s Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She is also a member of the executive with the IPU’s Group of the Twelve Plus and a member of the Co-coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians. Until the fall of 2014, Salma served on the Executive Committee of the IPU, as well as Chair of their Sub-Committee on Finance.
Sabina Zafar is an Enterprise Architecture Leader at GE Digital, the Vice Mayor at the City of San Ramon, a startup advisor and a mentor for early-stage startups. As a technology leader, with 20+ years of experience spanning verticals including healthcare, financials, advertisement, publishing, gaming, manufacturing, oil & gas, and power & utilities. Sabina has focused on delivering value to companies and customers alike.
Expertly coaching & mentoring a global team of engineering professionals including enterprise architects, software developers, and program managers. And an exceptional eye for finding and developing high-performing technical talent, while building an environment and culture that expects the highest levels of customer outcomes.
Sabina is on the Advisory board for Aerial Intelligence Group, an early-stage startup providing drone solution consulting services, is a Mentor at Bishop Ranch Intelligence Innovation Accelerator, and a board member of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs. She is affiliated with Women in Technology organizations promoting the growth of women in the field of technology. At GE she leads several initiatives for the Women’s network that encourage middle school and high school girls to pursue STEM careers, hosts, and speaks at industry events to build a community for women that work in technology. Sabina graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of South Alabama.
She has lived in the US since 1996 and has raised her family in San Ramon, California. Where she currently serves as the Vice Mayor for the City of San Ramon.
Pakistani Women in Computing (PWiC)
Muazma Zahid is a Data Engineer, a first-generation immigrant to the US, and mother of three daughters. Muazma is passionate about Data and AI and Cloud Computing. She is an advocate of diversity and inclusion at the workplace and enjoys helping and empowering others. She is a foodie and loves challenging herself and those around her.
Currently, she works in Microsoft Azure DataCAT (Customer Advisory Team), where she helps customers to deploy the most demanding Data workloads on Azure. She has been a Data Engineer/Architect for over twelve years working on several Big Data, Cloud Computing, and AI Technologies.
She is an active researcher in biomedical engineering with several publications and awards. She is also a frequent speaker at Data and AI conferences and recently member and volunteer of AnitaB.org’s special programs like 28 Days of Technology Careers and Summer Code Camp.