Women in tech: Selin Deveci, marketing lead – Middle East and Turkey at Software AG
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Women in tech: Selin Deveci, marketing lead – Middle East and Turkey at Software AG

Women in tech: Selin Deveci, marketing lead – Middle East and Turkey at Software AG

Learning is the only constant, and so upgrading skills from time to time is extremely vital in this fast-changing sector


How would you summarise 2022 for yourself, your company and the local/global tech industry?
As the lead marketer for Software AG in Middle East and Turkey, it was a year of redoubling our commitment to accelerate transformation with new marketing mandates. New global marketing strategies incorporated a highly data-driven approach across every aspect of the customer journey for consistent winning results. Therefore, it is indeed rewarding to see that marketing is becoming a key function to drive revenues along with business development teams, setting new KPIs and ROIs to deliver business value.

However, in MET region, face to face interactions and events have become far more audience and solution centric where customers are keener than ever to experience tailored activities as per their organisation’s digital transformation needs. Large scale industry events such as Gitex Global, Leap etc., continue to be a central focus and an ongoing trend for brand campaigns for increased awareness and stakeholder engagement.

As a woman leader, what are the challenges you faced in reaching to the top and how did you overcome them?
While a majority of men have the liberty of focusing on their careers and spending time with family during free time or on weekends, a woman must juggle several other aspects simultaneously, ranging from work, family needs, home management and more. Therefore, as a juggler, it is important to have an eye and balance on the different aspects that require attention daily. This can be overwhelming and tiring sometimes and unfortunately, there are still prejudices towards women globally as not being able to perform to full capacity due to other distractions.

On the other hand, a woman can thrive with home and child responsibilities and actively participating in her family life; all of it while working full-time with several cross-functional teams and exceling at workplace.

Personally, I have really been lucky to be at Software AG which is a progressive and aware company where gender disparity is non-existent. In fact, in addition, the management is empathetic towards new mothers and their responsibilities, and this support has contributed immensely to me not losing sight of my work responsibilities without ignoring my maternal duties.

In a male dominated tech industry, what steps should be taken to attract more women in tech?
It is high time that companies adopt a more human and skill-based approach towards employees and potential employees, giving women an equal opportunity in the corporate world. Best practices in diversity, as well as in sourcing and hiring women representatives must be practiced across all management levels with a gender-neutral and inclusive tone of voice by corporates. While we are witnessing progressive change slowly and surely with companies such as Software AG as front runners, companies across the board, not only tech companies, should incorporate this in their HR policies.

As far as women in tech is concerned, women who are interested in the sector and take keen interest in the subject matter not only find their way into the industry but also grow rapidly despite any challenges along the way.

What are the key tips you will offer aspiring women leaders/entrepreneurs to help them progress in this industry?
Acquiring the right skill sets, developing discipline, honesty, and work ethics, and knowing your job requirements are top requirements to stay relevant in this industry. Learning is the only constant and so upgrading skills from time to time is also extremely vital in this fast-changing sector. We should not lose our ‘amateur soul’ and its curiosity to learn even after spending a few years in a management job.

Simply put, I feel belief in oneself in this highly competitive industry, women should support each other rather than being competitors in a company. This takes you to the next level in your career and earns you respect from your team, peers and seniors alike.

What are your expectations for 2023?
Given the rapid pace of marketing, 2023 is expected to be a bigger leap from 2022 and another interesting year in marketing as trends shift to more digital transformation with noticeable changes in buying behaviours. With our revised strategy in place with an increased focus on data-driven marketing, we’re expecting to see:
–  The power of face-to-face meetings will remain. In the region, the ability to conduct business in-person has never been more important. Hence, in-person customer events and roundtables with target accounts and partner ecosystems will dominate the market, all with the aim to generate new business.
– A more strategic approach to marketing as budgets for the function go under the microscope, ensuring stronger cases for events that need to be closely aligned with company objectives and ROIs. For public sector potential customers, more tailored and account-focused events will be seen. The other verticals such as FSI, manufacturing etc. will lean more towards both. digital and physical, industry-based activities, for different solutions, such as: open banking or process mining or internet of things and integration.
– Digital marketing will continue to evolve and we as marketers need to keep up with the changing trends and techniques to stay relevant.
– More conversations around a sustainable world in line with helping businesses to shape and create a smarter and better tomorrow.

Read: Women in tech: Leyla Azizova, co-founder and head of MENA at Wema Health

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