Read about Claudia Alawi
Information Management Unit, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
What brought you to a career in technology at the United Nations?
Working at the UN has offered me a unique opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on a global scale. I also have the chance to work closely with other experts in the field and contribute to the development of policies and projects that leverage technology for social good. Moreover, the UN offers a diverse and inclusive work environment that values gender equality, which could be especially appealing for a woman in technology. By joining the UN, I have the chance to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures, collaborate on innovative projects, and make a meaningful difference in the world.
What has been your favorite IT project at the United Nations and what was your technical contribution?
Throughout my tenure, I have collaborated with various units and departments to digitize systems and processes. Among these, I hold a particular fondness for a project that entailed the development of a Leave Management System for local staff. As they do not utilize UMOJA, the system was designed to enable users to request new leaves through a user-friendly online platform, allowing their supervisors to either approve or reject the request. The system also maintains communication with the HR focal point and has an HR portal, which permits HR to send reminders to staff or view reports and many more useful features. Additionally, it features embedded Power BI dashboards that facilitate the visualization of the requisite data by the HR team and management. My involvement in this project encompassed the design of the database, software development, and the creation of Power BI dashboards. As such, my role encapsulated that of a full-stack developer as well as a data analyst.
What advice would you give women interested in pursuing a field in technology?
I would advise them to look for female role models who have already succeeded in technology and learn from their experiences. Mentors and role models can offer guidance, support, and inspiration as you navigate your own path. I would also advise them to be confident and assertive as women in technology may face biases and stereotypes, so it's important to be confident in your abilities and assertive in advocating for yourself and your ideas. And my final advice would be to keep learning as technology is constantly evolving. It's important to keep learning and developing your skills throughout your career. Look for opportunities to attend conferences, workshops, or online courses to stay up to date with the latest technologies and industry trends.