Katherine Ellis

Inspirational Woman: Katherine Ellis | Chief Operating Officer, WOLF

Katherine Ellis

Katherine Ellis is Chief Operating Officer for WOLF (The World’s Online Festival), overseeing the operational structure of the business and running the app’s user group operations.

Her career in tech spans over two decades which began after graduating from Leeds University with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m Katherine Ellis, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for metaverse social entertainment app, WOLF (The World’s Online Festival). Prior to joining the team nine years ago I spent just over a decade working with a variety of other tech businesses including online pharmacies and insurance companies, and other start-up companies.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I have always worked with start-up and entrepreneurial companies as I have a real interest in seeing businesses grow and mature.  I was drawn to the tech sector because it is much more fluid and fast-changing, so you must constantly adapt, making each day different. One day I could be looking at the strategic direction of the business for the next three years, the next I could be working on the structure of our WOLFStars programme – a programme which helps our users become more professional with their audio talents and earn rewards and recognition for their efforts.

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

From a gender equality perspective, I have been lucky during my time at WOLF in that my male colleagues are supportive and respect me for the person that I am and the skills I bring to the table, therefore on the whole I have had a good experience.

From an industry perspective, this sector is incredibly fast-paced so that has always presented an interesting challenge along the way, but I see that as an opportunity to learn and grow.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Launching the WOLF proposition at the start of the pandemic in February 2020 and helping its revenues grow by millions since launch.

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

I think the opportunities and career prospects within the tech sector are fantastic. Not only is the tech sector fast-paced in terms of the development of technology but also in terms of working practices. As a whole, tech businesses were able to quickly adjust to working from home during Covid and to create flexible working practices for their teams. Therefore it gives women and in particular working mums much more opportunities to have a career that fits around their home life and families.

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

To just go for it! I am someone with a finance background – not the typical way into the industry but I absolutely love it.

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

I think the industry has changed a lot over recent years and women are becoming better represented. I see women being encouraged into tech from an early age now, which is great. Coding is now part of the curriculum at my daughters’ primary school, so children are getting the opportunity to learn basic coding skills, something that wasn’t available to me as a child.

It’s about giving the next generation the skills and encouragement to do any role that makes sectors that may have been traditionally male dominated more inclusive for females.

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

The industry needs to focus on the next generation. Businesses need to focus on making tech roles more appealing and accessible to young women leaving school or starting further education.  Something we’re keen to do more of at WOLF.

There are currently only 21 per cent 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?

As women we should be calling out discrimination and ensuring that women and men have equal rights.  We work hard at WOLF to ensure that we are creating family-friendly policies so both female and male colleagues can create an efficient and effective work-life balance.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

LinkedIn is definitely the best resource for me!


Hadil Mosa

Inspirational Woman: Hadil Mosa | Marketing Specialist, WOLF

Hadil MosaBorn and raised in Jordan, originally from Palestine, Hadil Mosa is a marketing specialist for tech start-up WOLF (The World’s Online Festival), a metaverse social entertainment app which builds vibrant audio communities through live entertainment, performances, and chat.  

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am 26 years old and I was born and raised in Jordan. I have always been a conscientious student and during my time at university studying E-Marketing and Social Media, I decided that I wanted a career in technology so I could play a part in shaping new trends. I have been part of the marketing team at WOLF for three years and also just graduated with an MBA specialising in Marketing.

My role involves looking at all areas of marketing for WOLF, understanding our users’ needs and applying that understanding to the app so it can continue to grow and evolve.

And, outside of work, I have just got married so am enjoying married life with my husband.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, not really. It was during my studies that I realised my interest was in technology and its impact on changing and shaping new trends. I’ve always wanted to work at a company filled with creativity, whether it be in gaming, apps or movies and here I am working with one of the most innovative tech start-ups to operate in the Middle East.

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

As a woman, from the Middle East, working in tech you would think I would have but the truth is, I haven’t.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Being able to balance my work, Masters degree and married life all together perfectly.

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

My belief that life is up to you. Only you can decide what you can and cannot do. I believe that everyone can find a way to succeed. Technology has helped me to do that in so many ways.

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

To work hard. I’d like to believe that we all have the same opportunity and that it fully depends on a person’s capabilities and experience.

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

Women are becoming increasingly more involved in gaming and IT, and they are rocking it! For me personally, it has been really enriching and fun. I have the opportunity to learn and work in a diverse environment with so many ideas and lots of creativity.

Of course, barriers do still exist, especially in the market where WOLF operates (MENA) where there are big gender divides. But, I see progress being made and that is incredibly encouraging.

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

I would like to see more businesses actively attracting more females into technology.

There are currently only 21 per cent 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?

To give every woman the same belief that I have – only you can decide what you can and cannot do. Make sure you do it!

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

TedX talks, and success or experience stories from others in the industry.


Inspirational Woman: Huda Aideed | Content & Engagement Manager, WOLF

Huda AideedHuda is an experienced marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the commercial industry.

Fluent in both Arabic and English, she is skilled in leading multi-channel marketing campaigns both in the UK and MENA, having grown up in the Middle East.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m a newbie to the tech industry, having previously worked in the private health sector and B2B exhibitions and events industry. I grew up in the Middle East and am fluent in both Arabic and English, which is great for WOLF (The World’s Online Festival) – a company that is based in London (where I live now) and that operates in MENA. It’s ideal!

I’m currently the Content & Engagement Manager, working hand in hand with the Head of Festival Experience on all content-related tasks including in-app content and blogs. Additionally, I also work with the Chief Growth Officer on supporting our PR activities in the UK & MENA.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Believe it or not, it was TikTok & LinkedIn that got me interested in a career in the tech sector. Not necessarily planned but been loving it so far!

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

At the start of my career, yes there were many challenges that came from being the only female in the room with many experienced individuals from the opposite sex.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I have a varied background, having worked in various industries since graduation. If I could pick a career highlight, it would be leading on the marketing strategy for the Middle East in my previous role, working on creating a refreshed Arabic section of the website that features the true brand values of the organisation and launching the first series of newsletters targeted at one of the most important groups of stakeholders.

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

I come from an African/Arab ethnic background, and while I don’t see individuals that look like myself represented in the sector enough, progress is happening.

I believe that the landscape is changing, and the industry is offering flexibility and great perks. I think this presents greater opportunities for women to go for more senior roles that work around life outside of work.

Lately I’ve been seeing many young black professionals working for the likes of Google, Microsoft etc. The scene is changing, but I do still think businesses have room for improvement.

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

If you aren’t technically skilled then don’t discount tech as a career option. There are so many opportunities in the tech industry for women to explore in marketing, project management, finance etc.

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

I believe it’s more about what women working within the industry can do. We need to be at the forefront, championing gender equality and preventing discrimination in the workplace, especially women in leadership roles. Working together with our male counterparts I think we can break the bias.

There are currently only 21 per cent 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?

Encourage mentorship. Women working within the industry need to inspire the next generation and use their voice to share their experiences of working in an industry that is typically saturated with me. This could either be through speaking opportunities or through mentorship. I’ve been looking at various ways I could give back once I’ve gained more experience working in the tech space.


Sundos Othman featured

Inspirational Woman: Sundos Othman | MENA Media and Communication Manager, WOLF

Sundos OthmanI’m Sundos Othman, 25 years old, I graduated with a Computer Graphics and Animation degree and developed my own Android virtual reality application for tourism.

I’ve always been passionate about programming but a couple of years ago I shifted my major a bit and began working in the media and communications field at WOLF (The World’s Online Festival) as MENA Media and Communication Manager.

My role includes planning and managing online festivals and engagement events. To mark this year’s IWD I'm currently project managing our first virtual festival dedicated to women in the Middle East, which is so exciting.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, I didn’t. You need to experience different roles and responsibilities and work out what interests you first. When you get out into the real world your life will take you where it wants to go!

My advice for others would is to always be flexible and explore opportunities that come your way so you begin to know what works best for you.

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

Being a girl working in the media field, in my society, doesn’t always work out perfectly. You can find yourself in difficult situations in order to document on certain events. In these situations, in the Middle East, people take extra caution because we’re not used to having a girl go somewhere by herself which holds unknown situations. It is expected that a woman would always take a man with her for security. I always had to take a male colleague with me, whether to protect me or to make the client feel more comfortable having a woman there.

Another challenge has been my age! Employers sometimes assume that because I’m in my mid-twenties I don’t have enough experience to manage a whole project. But, I have learned that actions speak louder than words and the best way to prove yourself is to show people what you can do! That instils confidence in your leadership teams. Patience is key!

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Contributing to and transforming WOLF’s transition from being a chat app to an audio entertainment app. As part of my work with WOLF I have also helped project manage the first festival of its kind, dedicated to women in the Middle East. The festival invites big female influencers and celebrities to share their success stories, talents and performances.

During my career I was also part of the planning and preparing of one of the biggest physical graduation ceremonies that was held by Queen Rania Teacher Academy where Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah was the guest of honour. That was amazing!

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

To be given the right opportunities and trust to show my real potentials, regardless of how much experience I have on paper.

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

  1. Believe in yourself and impress!
  2. There’s nothing called failure! Rather it’s about collecting some really great learnings and experience to help you with your next success.
  3. Always keep it simple. Whatever idea, product or project you’re working on, simplicity is key.

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

Yes, I still think women have to prove themselves, particularly women who have children and other personal responsibilities outside of work. In my opinion these women have to show that their personal lives won’t have any impact on their ability to deliver on a job.

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

Offer much more flexibility and consider flexible working hours – something the pandemic proved could be done.

There is currently only 17 per cent 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?

Encourage more young women to consider tech – engage them more effectively at university and higher education and showcase the roles , prospects, salaries available and talk about examples of successful women in the industry. The industry also needs to offer more flexible working opportunities.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

To stay updated with the latest tech news I always look at the Mashable tech news on snapchat and on their own website.

Network because that will force you to develop yourself in your speciality;  it changes rapidly with time. You’ll meet new connections and benefit from their experience.


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female data scientist, woman leading team

International Women's Day 2021: The UK tech brand encouraging women to take centre stage in the Middle East

female data scientist, woman leading team

As a UK tech company operating its business in the MENA region, WOLF (The World’s Online Festival) believes passionately in the advancement and celebration of women.

Half of the business’ senior staff in the Middle East are female and overall, it  employs more women than men in its Middle East operations – something the team are very proud of given that less than 10% of the Middle East’s tech workforce is female.

This International Women’s Day WOLF wants to put the spotlight on MENA women and celebrate the contribution that women and girls in the region are making in the fields of technology, STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship - despite facing conventional beliefs, societal pressures and inequality challenges.

In the first virtual event of its kind, WOLF is launching a festival for its users based in MENA that is dedicated to showcasing women’s talents.

WOLF is an audio entertainment social network, which allows users to chat, entertain, and perform on a stage. The app takes the magic of real-world festivals and brings it to the online world - uniting people with a sense of fun, entertainment and belonging.

The brand has seen particular success in the Middle East (where it launched originally as Palringo in 2006) and has thrived with users, notably for women, who have built communities and made long-term friendships on the app, based on shared interests.

The business prides itself on being a platform where women in this area of the world can find their voice, and express themselves freely, creatively and artistically. To mark International Women’s Day, WOLF is celebrating its passion for equality and actively encouraging women in the region to take centre stage – literally.

The festival, which launches on 8 March, invites female talent from categories that range from poetry right through to comedy and motivational speaking.

Two of WOLF’s senior female leaders, Sundos Othman and Doua Aqel have been instrumental in bringing the idea to fruition. Both women have grown up in the Middle East and throughout their professional lives, have faced difficult gender challenges when trying to secure their place at the (boardroom) table.

Doua says: “Carving out a career in tech while growing up in Jordan, hasn’t always been easy. But, at WOLF, I am judged for my talents, skills and expertise – not my gender. I am part of a team which is actively encouraging and opening up opportunities to women who live in an environment where expressing personality and talent isn’t always encouraged and embraced.

“It helps that the WOLF platform is audio not video, and as such it means the performers are in a comfortable environment, without feeling self-conscious or exposed in any way. This is solely about talent and what women want to express with other people. Being able to socialise and entertain in this way is something that resonates with others on the platform that live in this part of the world.”

The registration to audition opened last month and WOLF has received over 350 entries from talent all over the region. The semi-finalists will be announced on 13 March when a voting system will open. On 17 March, the finalists will be announced with the festival culminating on 20 March with the final.

Sundos concludes: “WOLF is a platform where women can try new things out and explore the self-discovery of their talents and personal confidence. The idea behind the festival is to provide  an opportunity for women to unleash their talents.

“This initiative demonstrates the strides that are being made in celebrating women in this part of the world and it’s fantastic to be part of it.”


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