Top 10: Women in Technology in MEA

Technology Magazine highlights 10 of the most inspiring and accomplished women in technology in the Middle East and Africa

The technology sector has long been dominated by men, with a significant gender gap persisting across most regions of the world. The Middle East and Africa are no exceptions, where cultural norms, societal biases, and lack of access to education and opportunities have historically hindered women's participation and advancement in the field of technology.

However, a growing number of women in the Middle East and Africa are breaking through these barriers, rising to prominent leadership positions, and making invaluable contributions to the technology industry.

After Technology Magazine’s annual Top 100 Women in Technology publication, this week we highlight 10 of the most inspiring and accomplished women in technology in the Middle East in Africa.

Technology Magazine's Top 100 Women is out now

10: Rachel Sorek, Head of Research and Data Science Group, ANLP, LSEG

Rachel Sorek is the Head of Research and Data Science Group within LSEG's Applied NLP division, leading a team of 30 researchers, developers, and analysts. With 15 years of experience in NLP/data science R&D and leadership, Rachel brings a unique blend of technical expertise, people management skills, project management capabilities, and a product/solution mindset.

Her excellent communication and collaborative approach enable cross-functional success. At LSEG, Rachel drives innovation by developing cutting-edge NLP and data science solutions that address complex business challenges in the financial services industry.

9: Christine Ambetsa, Country Director, Technology Software Business - Kenya, Oracle

Christine Ambetsa is a transformational leader who enables and empowers organisations on their digital transformation journeys. With over 17 years of multinational experience, she has established herself as a strategic force in the robust and competitive Sub-Saharan markets, specialising in enterprise technology and applications sales, marketing, channel management, and sales leadership.

As the Country Director for Oracle's Technology Software Business in Kenya, Christine drives revenue accountability, overall execution, and sales delivery for her territory. Her expertise lies in forging trusted advisory relationships with customers, guiding them through complex digital transformations with a focus on delivering tangible impact.

8: Nollie Maoto, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, FNB South Africa

Nollie Maoto is the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at FNB South Africa, spearheading data and analytics for the Merchant Services unit. With over 16 years of experience, she is a globally recognised leader, serving on boards like CDO Magazine's Editorial Board and as CDO Ambassador for South Africa. 

Nollie has received numerous accolades, including Global Top 100 Data & Analytics Leader (2022), CDO Global Data Power Woman (2022), and World's Leading Enterprise Data Leader (2022). A champion for women in data, she was the first South African invited to Open Data Science Europe (2020, 2022). Lastly, she is a contributing author of the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling - Women in Leadership” book project by Professor Mazwe Majola from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

7: Manel Harrathi, Senior Director Strategic Innovation, FIS

Manel Harrathi is the Senior Director of Strategic Innovation at FIS, driving growth through her passion for strategy and innovation. A seasoned leader, she has transformed organisations by shaping strategy, fostering creativity, and aligning visions with tangible results. Manel has orchestrated innovation program expansions, created frameworks promoting creative thinking, and led with a global perspective from her diverse industry experiences.

Her commitment to strategic leadership and innovation has earned awards and recognition. Dedicated to empowering others through mentorship, Harrathi cultivates talent and environments conducive to growth. With a proven track record and unwavering passion, she propels FIS's transformative change and industry leadership.

6: Hadas Bitran, Partner GM, Health AI, Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft

Hadas Bitran is an experienced software executive driving healthcare innovation as Partner GM of Health AI at Microsoft's Health & Life Sciences. She shapes product strategy and vision, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions from ideation to execution. 

Hadas leads software design, customer engagements, and high-performing teams to drive cross-geographic collaboration and exceptional results. Her leadership focuses on achieving tangible outcomes that create customer value. Passionate about leveraging technology for societal good in healthcare, Hadas believes emerging technologies can revolutionise patient care and clinical outcomes.

5: Ria Pinto, General Manager and Technology Leader IBM South Africa

Ria Pinto is a distinguished senior executive with two decades of experience managing high-performance teams in the technology industry. As the General Manager and Technology Leader at IBM South Africa, she brings a passion for leveraging technology to transform industries and solve intricate business challenges.

With an illustrious 20-year tenure in the field, Ria has garnered extensive expertise in steering technological advancements and harnessing their potential to drive innovation and propel businesses forward.

4: Ayşegül Arıcan Şeker, Chief Information Officer, Vodafone Turkey

Ayşegül Arıcan Şeker is the Chief Information Officer at Vodafone Turkey. Previously, she was Senior VP of Information Technology at Akbank, overseeing IT strategy, agile practices, data management, and corporate data office. Ayşegül also spent six years at ING Turkey as an IT Leader, driving digital banking, fintech collaborations, payment systems and transformation programs. 

With a proven track record of implementing cutting-edge solutions and fostering a culture of innovation, her expertise spans IT strategy, agile, data management, digital transformation and innovation.

3: Alegra Kilstein, Global Chief Information Officer, Amdocs

Alegra Kilstein is the Global Chief Information Officer at Amdocs, a leading software and services provider for communications and media companies. With over 17 years in the IT industry and more than a decade at Amdocs, Alegra has held pivotal leadership roles including VP - Head of Global Support Business Unit and Customer Experience Group, VP - Portfolio Management and Process Engineering and Head of Delivery Operations and Program Management.

Prior to Amdocs, she served as CIO and Head of IT at Teledata Networks/ADC.

2: Reham Almusa, Managing Director & VP Business Applications, Oracle

Reham Almusa is a seasoned IT management professional with over 12 years of experience driving customer success across the enterprise, government, and SMB segments in the GCC region. Her core expertise lies in spearheading revenue growth through digital transformation, healthcare services and ERP consulting for emerging industries and markets.

Reham excels in enterprise consultative sales, solution selling, account management, revenue recognition, new market entry, negotiations, value-based business models and project P&L management.

Before joining Oracle, Reham spent six years at SAP, most recently leading the company's business in Bahrain, driving the vision and strategy that transformed SAP into an industry leader, commanding enterprise sales efforts, controlling key accounts and cultivating CXO relationships.

1: Reem Asaad, Vice President - Middle East & Africa, Cisco

Reem Asaad is a highly accomplished leader with over 25 years of experience across technology, financial services, and customer experience. She adapts her leadership style to complex environments, guiding teams while providing strategic direction. 

As Cisco's VP for Middle East & Africa, she strengthens government, customer and partner collaborations to accelerate digitisation using Cisco's solutions. Reem fosters strategic partnerships to build technology skills and ecosystems contributing to economic growth in emerging markets.

Prior to Cisco, Reem was CEO at Raya Customer Experience, driving growth, digital transformation and regional market development for the Cairo-based BPO provider.


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