LEADING CAREER PATHS IN TECH AT A COMPANY INSPIRING THE WORLD THROUGH PLAY
As senior director of engineering at Electronic Arts, Farah Ali is a woman tech leader who is passionate about building innovative products and committed to leading women in STEM careers.
As founder of the company’s employee resource group Women of CTO, as well as a board member of its Women’s ERG, she passionately embraces and leads diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the company. Today, she is breaking barriers as one of the most senior women in a tech role at EA. She empowers other women across the company to step into leadership roles and shows them anything is possible with commitment and dedication.
Ali is a respected leader on her EA Digital Platform (EADP) team who inspires collaboration and innovation in the team’s work. Its members work “behind the scenes” in a critical role that supports EA’s game play. EADP is a platform on which games are built via reusable capabilities that can be easily integrated into games. Ali and her team are working on how this new platform changes the way players play games in the digital space and with one another across the globe.
Her career path includes senior engineering roles at Microsoft and eBay. She also cofounded a non-profit called One Good Act that serves to beat the cycle of poverty in developing parts of the world.
In the words of Farah Ali:
How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“This is not a straightforward issue. There is a pipeline problem which means not as many women are majoring in STEM subjects. Then there is the problem of women dropping out after a certain level because they are not getting the personal and professional support that they need. Both have to be addressed.”
What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“It starts from how we treat and encourage girls in elementary school to build their curiosity about how the world works and have teachers that teach science and math in a relatable way. Parents have the biggest responsibility here to make sure they provide their children with a diverse set of learning tools so they can see the fun and adventure in STEM subjects.”
How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“I see a movement in the U.S. where coding is now being considered as important as teaching the English language. Lots of great companies are trying to introduce computer science in the curriculum in K-12.”
Words I live by:
“I like what Marie Curie said and sort of sums up my approach to life and learning: Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”