Dillah
Zakbah

Creative Director, BBH London

“Take every day as an opportunity to learn something new, to widen your horizons, and be open to networking and making connections. Sometimes, for us to get a seat at the table, we have to go all out and create a seat of our own. I’d also recommend to unabashedly share about your strengths and achievements, network, and ask for help. It will go a long way.”

Success to me is being able to do something that I love on a daily basis and getting to inspire someone along the way. Also knowing that my contributions positively impact my colleagues and my company is what success means to me.

My mom had the wonderful foresight that technology would be something really important and something I would enjoy, so back in the 90s she enrolled me in html/javascript classes and I got hooked. My mom was also someone who never stopped learning and is always finding ways to upskill herself, and that has inspired me to always find one new thing to learn about tech every day and to always find ways to learn and explore in the field.

I find myself always having to prove that I am not a stereotype and that I am capable. It was not a straight graduate and then creative tech job route for me. Just to show that I am worthy of a chance and opportunity, I really had to work my way up. I had to start off my career as a toilet janitor upon graduating from university, then leading up to a personal assistant and only after almost 2 and half years getting a junior creative tech opportunity. Even then I still had to work a long way up to get to where I am. But I learnt to quickly identify allies to help you when times get hard or to speak up for you when you can’t as well.

It still tends to be a Man’s world out there and with that comes a lot of unconscious biasness. Other than gender stereotypes and having my abilities being underestimated, we do not have many of ‘us’ in the field. We are heavily underrepresented which means we have to always fight harder to be seen and shout louder to be heard.

Take every day as an opportunity to learn something new, to widen your horizons, and be open to networking and making connections. Sometimes, for us to get a seat at the table, we have to go all out and create a seat of our own. I’d also recommend to unabashedly share about your strengths and achievements, network, and ask for help. It will go a long way.

Being able to help more young females to break into the industry while starting a non-profit that democratises opportunities for under-served communities and refugees.