In honor of Women’s History Month, we explored how the women of Enea are helping to shape the telecom industry. We interviewed some of the leading female voices at Enea to find out more about their career journeys, the challenges they have faced and their advice for other women who want to kick-start a career in technology.
Can you describe your career journey so far?
To get an overview of their careers, we asked our interviewees to tell us about their professional journeys, starting off with Seema Ambrale, an Engineering Manager at Enea. After completing a degree in Electrical Engineering, Seema secured her first engineering role as a Power Engineer, noting the limited female presence in this area. The following year she moved into IT, working for multiple companies specialising in software and IT services, including IBM, Allstate Insurance and Skillsoft. Seema began her journey with Enea as a Software Engineering Manager just under two years ago. She leads a high performing team of software engineers to deliver Enea’s Stratum Cloud Data Manager. Stratum is a cloud native subscriber data management system, which is 5G enabled and caters to major telecom providers in Europe and North America.
On the security side of the telecom sector, Shivani Bishnoi is a Security Analyst at Enea AdaptiveMobile Security. Shivani began her career as a Business Development Associate at an EdTech company. She got the opportunity to work at Enea through a referral, while she was looking for the right opportunity to take her career to the next level. Having worked at Enea AdaptiveMobile Security for five years now, Shivani has acquired a wide breadth of cybersecurity and telecommunications knowledge, and has diversified her skill set. Her priority is to provide effective services to telecom operators, protecting their subscribers from harmful attacks.
Also working in the mobile security area of Enea’s portfolio, Yoki Lee is a Threat Intelligence Team Lead at Enea AdaptiveMobile Security. Yoki originally came from a media art background and was inspired by some cybersecurity themed artwork to learn more about the industry. From there, she educated herself and decided to use her knowledge to make a difference to the world.
Shivani Jethwa is one of Enea’s talented customer support engineers specializing in cybersecurity. She joined Enea after graduating university, and has already fallen in love with the diverse and challenging nature of the cybersecurity industry. Her role involves satisfying customers by giving them high-quality, prompt responses to any issues they encounter or queries that arise, in a timely manner.
Anna Selander took a slightly different path, specializing in HR. Anna is now Chief HR Officer at Enea. After finishing her master’s degree in Sweden, Anna worked in sales and marketing at Ericsson in Chile. Gradually, over the course of her career spanning various roles, she realized her passion for supporting others and creating the right conditions for individuals, leaders and companies to thrive. This realization led Anna to begin a “second career” in HR. She now leads Enea’s global HR team, ensuring Enea has the optimum conditions, processes and incentives in place to make Enea a great place to work. Her priority is to make sure Enea attracts and keeps people with the right mindset and skills, who will enable the company to grow and develop by serving customers with outstanding products.
Like Anna, Stephanie Huf, Chief Marketing Officer at Enea, leads a global team. Stephanie has been passionate about technology since learning to program on her Mac at age 11. Her second job after university was at Ericsson as a Marketing Assistant. Since then, she has worked in a variety of roles in sales, communications, innovation, sustainability and marketing. Having an international career was a priority for her, and Stephanie has experience working in several countries, including Australia, the U.S, Asia, and Sweden.
How are you helping to shape the telecom industry?
After learning more about their backgrounds and career journeys, we wanted to explore how the women of Enea are helping to shape the telecom industry.
Seema’s team delivers Enea’s Stratum Cloud Data Manager, which is a cutting-edge 5G network data layer for mobile operators. It is a critical product, and by ensuring product quality, scalability, resilience, and fastest time to market, Seema and her team are at the forefront of telco transformation. She combines her years of experience in the IT industry with a relentless work ethic, customer focus and a ‘can do’ attitude to drive results.
Like Seema, Anna incorporates her own knowledge and experience from other industries and organizations in her role at Enea. Her mission as Chief HR Officer is to understand the company and its people, working with employees from all areas of the business and enabling them to reach their potential and make their contribution to help shape the telecom industry.
Specializing in Mobile Security, Shivani Bishnoi helps telecom operators retain subscribers and expand their business. She keeps up with the latest generations of mobile networks, and finds ways to control attacks or introduce new methods to maximize the protection Enea provides to customers. As a customer support engineer, Shivani Jethwa’s focus is on the customer’s requirements, also in the realm of security. She aims to resolve clients’ problems effectively and exceed their expectations. Both women are making a difference to the industry every day, by ensuring networks and subscribers are protected, which is essential to the future of telecommunications.
What are the challenges of working in the telecom field?
Next, we asked our interviewees about the challenges they have faced in their individual roles working in the telecom industry.
For Seema, one of the challenges of working in the telecom sector is making sense of the jargon and acronyms used, and trying to understand those in terms of simple use cases. She mentions that the industry is also highly competitive, dynamic, and fast paced, providing the right kinds of challenges and keeping her on her toes!
Shivani Jethwa faces a similar challenge to Seema – breaking down complex concepts into simpler terms, and converting them into value propositions for the customer. Translating these concepts using appropriate language and tone that can be easily understood by a specific audience can be challenging.
In terms of HR, Anna feels that the challenges are similar to those in other industries which, aside from the unstable macro-environment, comes down to the speed of change. It’s important, but can also be challenging, for employees to keep their skills up to date, and to do that in the flow of work. Fostering an open environment allowing for innovation and excellence to continue is needed to address change.
Similarly, rapid change is a challenge that Shivani Bishnoi highlights in her role. The threat landscape is constantly changing as new mobile threats and attack methods arise. As a security analyst, Shivani must remain vigilant and adapt quickly to emerging threats and variations. Spammers are always looking for ways to infiltrate a network and steal subscriber credentials. Addressing the changing nature of attacks is one of the more challenging elements of her job.
What is your advice for women who aspire to work in the technology sector?
Finally, we asked each woman what her advice is for other women who want to pursue a career in technology. Here’s what they had to say:
Technology does not discriminate, so why would you! Once you develop the passion for technology, nothing will stop you. Don’t hesitate to give it a try even if you are coming from a different background. My first recommendation is to try to get some experience in the technology field, connect with people already working for the companies that you would like to work for, and ask for their insights and advice. Most people will be willing to help. Once in the industry, there will be ample opportunity to learn and progress!
If you take small steps you can still go far. Transferring from one industry to another is not so hard if you know what area you are passionate about. Believe in yourself - you can do it. Find someone who can introduce you to the industry, and take a leap of faith. The tech sector needs you!
Don't second-guess yourself - just go for it! Whether you have the relevant IT experience or not. Make an effort to acquire experience in the field of technology, connect with those who are currently working for the companies you are interested in, and ask for their advice.
Trust in yourself! Do not hesitate to learn, adapt, and take on new challenges. A quote that helped me build confidence is “If you fall seven times, stand up eight.” Challenging yourself will enable you to grow your confidence and lead you to take opportunities you never would have considered if you questioned your abilities.
There are many opportunities in the technology sector, and it does not matter if you are coming from a technology background or not. As long as you keep an open mind and stay curious, the tech sector has a lot to offer.
Assess the culture of the company you consider joining. Most tech companies want to improve diversity for sound business reasons, so women are in demand. Ask a potential employer how their culture supports inclusion i.e., how you would be onboarded, how diverse perspectives would be included in decision making, and what processes are in place to ensure equitable opportunities, sponsorship, and compensation.
Maybe you are at the beginning of your professional journey, and you have discovered a passion for cybersecurity, or perhaps you’re midway through your career and want to transition into the telecom sector. If you want to work in telecoms, Enea could be the place to start. Discover more about working at Enea here.
Thank you to Seema Ambrale, Anna Selander, Shivani Jethwa, Shivani Bishnoi, Yoki Lee and Stephanie Huf for sharing their experiences and valuable advice for this article. Happy Women’s History Month!
Caitriona is a recent graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in global commerce. As part of her degree, Caitriona studied abroad in Canada and worked as a marketing intern back in Ireland. Over the course of her studies, she developed a passion for both marketing and cybersecurity, specialising in marketing in her final year. Caitriona is now working as a marketing assistant at AdaptiveMobile Security, a role that marries both of her passions.