ONE could be hard pressed to find a local female role model in the IT industry.
It’s a male-dominated industry, notes Acestar Sdn Bhd founder and chief executive officer Natalie Sit. Sit’s own initiation into the IT industry was through an administrative role.
Fortunately, the industry has continued to capture her interest and she has gone on to build a sizeable company.
While the technology field has been very much associated with men, Sit assures that there is no gender biasness in business conduct for the IT industry.
“When we do business, it is an equal platform. It is not about whether you are a man or a woman,” she says.
But notably, the challenges for female entrepreneurs are different.
“Women have to take care of their families. So they are maybe not as free to put in as much effort into a business. It does not mean that they can’t (put in as much effort),” she adds.
Female entrepreneurs, particularly those with young families, may find it a challenge trying to cope with all the responsibilities on their plate.
After all, taking care of a family and a business are both full-time jobs.
But Sit, a mother to two young girls, aged three and five, reminds female entrepreneurs not to burn themselves out trying to juggle everything.
“Find a balance between work and play. Women need to know how to manage their time and how to utilise their resources. And we need to support each other,” she says.
Sit is honoured to receive the Female Entrepreneur of the Year award (Up to RM25mil) at last year’s The Star Outstanding Business Awards.
She sees this as a platform for her to share her experiences with other female entrepreneurs and she hopes to inspire others to persevere in their own entrepreneurial journey.
“This is my dream award. The IT industry tends to be a male domain but that does not mean women can’t be successful. I never gave up. Even though I fell down many times, it just made me stronger.
“My advice to women is to find your passion, identify your direction and get the best team together to succeed,” she had said upon receiving the award.
Sit is in the midst of writing a book about her journey and hopes to get it published this year.
While it may be difficult to find a female role model in the industry, Sit hopes she will be able to play that role for other female entrepreneurs.