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Top Interviews: Hila Safi – Speaker Nights Team Lead at Female Tech Leaders

Any successful startup requires a lot of effort, time, energy, patience and of course, money. And, as not any startup is a successful one, Mobiteam aims to show the TOP founders, executives & managers that worked out to become one of the best in their fields, and now are a challenge to the entire market.

This is why in Top Interviews from Mobiteam you will discover stories, people and businesses based on real experience, that come both as a lesson and a life model for many.

One of the most promising startups that got our attention is FemaleTech Leaders

Female Tech Leaders (FTL) is a Munich based organization dedicated to empowering women in STEM and leadership roles and mentor girls who are passionate about technology.

The Speaker Nights are Female Tech Leaders biggest event series and open to everyone.
They introduce female role models and present their exceptional work to their attendees. The goal here is to raise awareness on issues like unconscious bias affecting women in tech, presenting new technical topics as well as taking away the fear of working in STEM fields. Speaker Nights are networking hubs and communities where everyone feels welcome and comes together to unite for a greater cause

#4 Interview with Mobiteam – Hila Safi, Speaker Nights Team Lead at Female Tech Leaders

Hi Hila,

Thank you for accepting our invitation, please Tell us a little about yourself. Your background and how did you come to this point?

To escape the Soviet-Afghan war, my parents left Afghanistan and moved to Germany in the mid-eighties. Their intention was to start a new life. Although both my parents studied in Afghanistan, their degrees were not recognized in Germany, so they had to start from scratch. They always worked really hard in order to provide fort heir entire family and helped a lot of relatives to move out of Afghanistan.

Having witnessed my parents show their resilience and hard work day by day I have developed a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility for my academic and extracurricular activities. Growing up between two very different cultures, countries and being aware of the very different living standards in different countries, I always wanted to take no privilege for granted take every opportunity I get and share my possibilities with others. As far as I can remember, I always wanted to be a surgeon, to me, it was the way to have a successful career and at the same time help others.

At the time I was not aware of the career paths in MINT-fields and how it can contribute to benefiting a lot of social causes. Fast forward – I finished secondary school, switched to grammar school, graduated, worked in hospitals, changed my mind about wanting to be a surgeon and did not really know what to do in life. I went to a student counselor, told her I have always been interested in mathematics but do not wish to study maths, she suggested I should try computer science – and that is what I did. I will be forever grateful to the counseling session as I found a passion for my major.

When and how did you start “startuping”? Is there an interesting story here?

It all started when Female Tech Leaders was founded in April of 2017. To me, it was never really about „startuping“. Since I was a teenager I have always been involved in social projects. I believe that sometimes small acts might make a meaningful impact on someone else’s life and if everyone capable of contributing helped out as much as one other person the world would be a better place.

I started in Female Tech Leaders because I do not only genuinely believe in the causes they pursue but also in the way they try to overcome issues in STEM – and that is how I learned more and got excited about startups

What do you think you’d be doing right now if Female Tech Leaders didn’t exist?

I am very glad it does, as I am not sure what I would be doing instead, but as I have already mentioned I have always been part of different projects in my community ranging from teaching young adults in troublesome circumstances to helping with the integration of people, who have been traumatized by war. Maybe I would have some extra free time next to studying and my working student position, though I believe this is highly unlikely

What’s your technique for staying productive throughout the day?

First off, I try to work on things that make me happy and that I am passionate about – life’s too short to do things you do not love, but even then you have those days where nothing seems to move forward, so in order to still be productive I have a few methods:

  1. I write daily ToDo lists before starting my day and after every task, I give myself a little reward e.g using my phone again – which also takes us to number two
  2. Put away my phone – this one is really hard for me, as I am addicted to it but being reachable and on the phone all the time kills productivity
  3. Only see my friends & family, after/if I finish all my daily tasks – this one usually helps me finish early
  4. See the bigger picture, remind myself why I do what I do
  5. Get a motivation speech from my friends & family – this one always helps
  6. Something I recently learned is to sometimes take a day off and recharge in order to be way more productive the next days

How do you define “being successful”?

To me, being successful means pursuing and getting closer to your life goals, whatever they may be.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Spent time with loved ones, travel, eat ice cream and watch TV-shows

What are your recommendations for a startup novice?

I think it is very important to not found or be part of a startup just to be in the scene. Find what makes you smile every day and gets you going without even trying, networking is important but not more important than working on your project, do not be scared to take risks – unless taking risks means someone might get hurt or worse and not everything will go as planned, relax and it will work out.

Thank you, Hila for your answers. I am sure that this article on Mobiteam blog will help to raise awareness in women community to get more involved in the Tech industry, and will help you and Female Tech Leaders to get more visibility on the web.

Your answers and recommendations based on your extraordinary experience are truly inspiring and helpful for our readers.

Mobiteam Top Interviews blog aims to help startups and companies to increase their online presence and acquire a new audience. If you think your story is worthy and interesting enough to be told on Mobiteam, don’t hesitate to contact us – It’s free

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Author: Marcel Sobieski

I elaborate and manage IT products, startups, and groups. Drafting the product and business development, planning and executing. I’m able to simplify complex issues to benefit from everyone's contribution.