Women in tech: Tatiana Rahal, MD at talabat UAE
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Women in tech: Tatiana Rahal, managing director at talabat UAE

Women in tech: Tatiana Rahal, managing director at talabat UAE

Women should appreciate their own value and emulate that belief in everything they feel, think, do or say

Gulf Business
talabat UAE

When one looks back at the tech industry at a global level in 2022, it had its challenges with major corporations having to take tough decisions due to economic uncertainty. This inevitably affected the quick commerce industries post the surge in demand due to the pandemic – as people had heavily depended on online delivery during those tough times, but it also pushed brands to innovate and launch new concepts, products and services.

Talabat UAE’s growth in 2022

When it comes to the online food and groceries delivery industry, now that things have returned to pre-covid norms and people are back to travelling and dining-out more, one would think that it would witness significant impact. However, the increased reliance on technology for convenience over the past years and the diversified offerings to choose from have proven these newly adopted habits are here to stay.

A reflection of this lasting change in behaviour is talabat UAE’s 37 per cent year on year growth in online orders, which comes as no surprise as the UAE is leading digital penetration worldwide with 99 per cent of the population having access to the internet, significantly higher than the global average of 64 per cent. This is a testament to the UAE government’s efforts, who – despite the global climate – were able to sustain a resilient economy and continued providing businesses with the infrastructure for innovation and investment.

As talabat UAE’s managing director, the past year has been exhilarating to say the least, from growing my team to marrying my long term partner, yet residing in different countries. One of the lessons I personally kept from the pandemic was the importance of finding harmony, be it work-life balance or mind-body wellbeing, that’s where efficient time management plays a vital role.

Women in tech

The tech industry in specific has been rapidly changing in recent years, especially in a country such as the UAE that is taking great strides in achieving equity across all sectors. We are seeing more women in leadership take up leadership roles.

However, women today still face barriers, such as gender role stereotypes and glass ceilings. Even though I have been fortunate when it comes to having an empowering family environment and supportive mentors at work, one of the main challenges I faced was internal. Being a perfectionist by nature, the standards and goals I had set for myself meant that no matter how significant my accomplishments were, they were still not good enough.

It took self-awareness and conscious effort for me to look back at my path and celebrate my milestones. The internal dialogue we have with ourselves is the most important, we have the power not only to determine our future, but also to enjoy the journey.

Attracting women talent in general starts with prompting a deeply-rooted cultural shift of how they are perceived in the workplace, as well as giving equal opportunity to both men and women to take up roles by merit, which I believe requires awareness of unconscious bias.

It is also important to provide the right environment – flexibility is key. For example, cultivating a culture that offers flexible work arrangements and is more output driven rather than a system that relies on clocking in hours, helps working mothers (and fathers too) balance between their professional and personal priorities without feeling the need to compromise. This is especially true in higher positions, where we lose a lot of women at senior levels due to the pressure they face to choose between motherhood and work.

My word of advice for women is to not to undermine their work and capabilities. Build that environment that stimulates your mind and stay healthy – being healthy and having a balanced nutritional diet has such a strong impact on our bodies and hence, our minds.

It is important for women to find their voice, feel confident about their work, the results they achieve and the impact they can create, as well as build their network and have a growth plan while they continue to strive to reach their full potential. Ultimately women should appreciate their own value and emulate that belief in everything they feel, think, do or say.

At talabat UAE, we’re proud to have 32 per cent of our leadership positions occupied by women, which is at par with the global benchmark and is in line with the UAE’s stance on equity for women in the workplace.

The year 2023

From a business perspective, this year has been exciting from the onset with technology remaining at the core of everything we do – from the optimisation of our operations, to launching new concepts and solutions for our partners and customers such as prescription medication delivery, as well as the diversification of the fleet by introducing autonomous delivery robots.

We will continue to heavily invest in innovation to support our ecosystem of partners, customers and riders, with the great support of 450 tech talents in our HQ in Dubai, making it the largest homegrown tech hub in the region. We look forward to further adopting sustainability measures across our operations, which is a key part of our company’s roadmap and is also in line with the UAE government’s vision.

Also read: In pics: Talabat opens new regional HQ in Dubai 

From a team perspective, as a value-driven leader, my objective is to keep building on talabat’s values, with focus on increasing teamwork, productivity, inclusivity and mentorship across the board. I will also continue to give equal opportunities for women to grow into leadership positions in the organisation through recruitment efforts, internal growth development and movement of female talent.

Read: Women in tech: Julie Davila, VP of global field CTO operations at Sophos

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