Fariha Shah Aged 35, Fariha Shah is co-founder and Managing Director of Golden Bees, the first smart candidate targeting solution using recruitment advertising.

In 2015, after 8 years in the e-commerce advertising sector, Fariha is leveraging her expertise in Golden Bees, which she co-founded, to help the online job market become more fluid thanks to technology.

Tell us a little about yourself and your role

I’m a non-tech girl in a tech world. I founded Golden Bees, an Adtech/HRtech company 6 years ago in France. My company is an innovative custom-crafted advertising solution for online recruitment, that uses technologies with state-of-the-art algorithms, supported by candidate data. Our technology allows recruiters to reach candidates of any kind, whether they are looking for a job or not thanks to our programmatic recruitment platform which is linked up to all relevant online media to display job ads all over the web. Today, Golden Bees has more than 300 clients in France and the UK and is one of the fastest growing companies in Europe according to the Financial Times.

My role is to identify new opportunities for Golden Bees and to create strong added value tech solutions to solve problems while generating profits by putting the right resources in the right places. Otherwise, I’m an entrepreneur.

As for my background, I’ve evolved in the AdTech ecosystem before launching my own company.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not really. My career is everything but a plan, it’s more a logical evolution. I worked as an employee for eight years in three different companies before launching Golden Bees. In each company I created my own position: a new job with new challenges that were always strongly oriented on performance and results. I still didn’t know I would one day become a tech entrepreneur.

One day, the founder of a fast growing ad tech startup asked me to join him, to develop the company. I felt that was the perfect fit for me, so I said yes. I took my first steps in the entrepreneurial world. That was the trigger. 3 months later, I was launching my own company.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Yes I have. I remember that I tried to get jobs in big companies when I started my career. Most of the time, I was rejected. I remember that I badly wanted a job in a trendy company a few years ago. It was one of the biggest French media groups. They said no, for a reason that I still don’t know. This same group acquired my company a few years later.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

The biggest achievement for me wasn’t the launch of my company: that was the easy part. The true achievement is definitely our performance. Golden Bees has achieved +3000% of growth in 4 years while being profitable. It’s mainly because of our client retention rate which is up to 80%. More than an achievement, it’s a pride to have our client enact as our ambassadors who trust and recommend us.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I think the fact that I spent less time on PowerPoint presentations and a sophisticated Business Plan, and more on product development and performances was definitely a game changer. It’s important to understand your product in detail, but also to know what’s the purpose and how it will be used so that you can then focus on its improvement.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Don’t put barriers in your mind. That’s the only reason why most of the people don’t cross the line. Evolving in the Tech field doesn’t mean you need to be a Data Scientist or MIT Engineer. There are a lot of jobs connected around tech. The only challenge you really need to take on is to learn how the technology works. And it never has been so accessible as today.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I don’t really believe that there are barriers for success for women working in tech. The only barriers we face is ourselves. If you have the skills needed for the job, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, at the end of the day, the only thing that will make the difference is your performance.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

The probability of hiring women in tech fields are low, because the number of female IT profiles are low. Companies have a major role to improve the numbers if they invest in professional transitions and training courses for instance.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I will add tech as a subject for study at every school in the world. Everything starts with education. Even the mindset changes.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

So many! But they will be the same resources as for men. If I had to choose one, I would recommend the biography of Elon Musk, this guy is impressive and inspiring. For both men AND women.

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