Sundas Khalid- Breaking Stereotypes
For all the tech ladies out there, we have a special treat. A must-read interview with the amazing Sundas Khalid. She is a Pakistani living in Seattle, US with her husband and two beautiful kids. Sundas is an award-winning data science & analytics leader, career consultant, and passionate advocate for diversity & inclusion. She currently works at Google leading search engine analytics, previously she has worked at Amazon. Her story of resilience and courage has been featured in Forbes.
Being the first female in her family to graduate university, She has put in great effort to use her platform to share resources and break stereotypes while inspiring many 1st-generation immigrants, people of color, working moms, and especially individuals from underprivileged backgrounds. To further her mission, Sundus help others land their dream jobs through CareerPy. We talked to her to know more about her high spirited personality:
Describe yourself in three words
Sundas: Resilient, Courageous, Intellectual
Something you wish you knew 5 years ago
Sundas: Not being afraid to fail, and more financial literacy.
What’s your favorite thing about yourself
Sundas: That I prioritize family, take care of myself, and stay grounded.
The biggest hurdle you had to face in your professional journey
Sundas: I had a 6-year gap between high school and university so it took courage to start all over again. It was hard but I am glad I worked hard and kept going. I went back to school while raising two little ones at home. I graduated from the University of Washington as a class valedictorian and gave a graduation speech to an audience of 3,000. I later went on to become a self-taught scientist, working at two of the biggest tech giants in the world, Google and Amazon. My story has been featured on Forbes and several other publications, and I have won several awards for my work in the data science space and women in the tech community.
Which person has influenced you most in life
Sundas: My husband has been my biggest support throughout my journey. He supported and empowered me in every possible way to reach my potential. His hard work and dedication to learning inspire me every day.
How do you wind down when you’re not working
I like to go for long walks with my family and sometimes watch scary movies together.
What does being a powerful woman/ boss woman mean to you
Sundas: Being powerful means that I use my voice to empower others. For example, I talk about salary negotiation and share resources on social media very openly, and because many brown women have felt empowered to do the same, about $100K in incremental salaries negotiated. The work I do is powerful because it is empowering others to do better.
What do you think is one of the hardest things women face today, whether in the workplace or in their personal lives
Sundas: I personally believe that the biggest hurdle women have to face is at home with the workload imbalance. The expectations of women to do more domestic household work decreases the time they could be spending on their careers or other aspirations. This essentially is related to how our society has defined gender roles for men and women. My story personally has been a success because my partner I divide household work equally–this leaves both of us time to focus on our careers. It’s so important to have that level of support at home because when that doesn’t happen, it leads to women’s burnout and turnover. This is one of the big reasons, many women leave the corporate world to stay home.
What is your message for all the potential boss women out there?
Sundas: My piece of advice for all boss women is to marry well. Finding a good partner is the best career decision you will ever make, so make sure you are choosing well. And I know your question is a message for women but I would like to give a message to all the men reading: support and empower the women in your life whether it’s your sister, daughter, mother, or wife.
Here is a message from Sundas for all the Boss Women out there:
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