Amira
Karim

Public Policy Lead (Payments) APAC - International Public Policy, Amazon

“Some people define success as achievements, but for me, it is about the journey. It is to experiment and learn. To be both at the top of industry but also the ability to keep learning. If my mission is to alleviate inequality; then what am I doing to contribute to greater good? How am I helping women get into the industry? It’s about including traditionally underestimated groups in the work space. Having pillars to help raise awareness and being able to reach across a lot better, for example the importance of Diversity and Inclusion programs in APAC. To me, success is not solely for the sake of personal fulfillment, but doing something meaningful. It’s also about building more inclusive spaces and listening intently.”

Some people define success as achievements, but for me, it is about the journey. It is to experiment and learn. To be at the top of industry and still have the ability to keep learning. If my mission is to alleviate inequality; then what am I doing to contribute to greater good? How am I helping women get into the industry? It’s about including traditionally underestimated groups in the work space. Having pillars to help raise awareness and being able to reach across a lot better, for example the importance of Diversity and Inclusion programs in APAC. To me, success is not solely for the sake of personal fulfillment, but doing something meaningful. It’s also about building more inclusive spaces and listening intently.
My experience at the World Bank has inspired me. I was working with experts on the ground to solve big impactful problems. Some of the women leaders and engineers I met were truly inspiring. They dared to ask brilliant questions.

My biggest hurdle was the fear of not being good enough. The fear of imposter syndrome – taking the risk to put myself out there. I had to learn a different language – which is tech. To code switch between public policy and engineers is challenging. It can be intense and driven. That’s why it’s important to have clear thinking and be 100% present. I was the second hire of the team in this region. From 20 people when I first joined, there are over 200 people now.

My experience in the US helped me. The cultural divide is easier to bridge but there is a need to build even more credibility to bring value to the table as a minority. There is a renaissance of opportunities in Southeast Asia (SEA) but the languages we speak are important and we have to be more culturally sensitive to its people.
To not be afraid to speak up and build a unique voice. To provide perspective. To build bridges between teams. Finding a voice as a way to solve problems together. Feeling confident to project for SEA. Truly understanding the technology (technical, high risk environment) and fulfilling ambition in a different way.

We are just at the beginning of bringinging financial services to the communities. I aim to explore places that are overlooked. I hope to build better products and be a thought leader in the financial/ fintech space.