Imane
Jamal
Eddine

Country Head (Customer Success), Microsoft Singapore

“I see myself continuing in my tech leadership journey, whilst also spending more time with aspiring female talents. I hope to mentor and support their growth while advocating for more girls and women in STEM on a wider level. I know what women go through every day at every milestone - as a fresh graduate, mid-career, as a mom returning to work, a senior leader. I’ve been there and lived it. So I hope to make it easier for the next generation of strong female leaders to come.”

In my day job, I lead the Customer Success department in Microsoft Singapore. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization to achieve more through delighting customers and consistently providing them with a connected customer experience. Success is when my customers achieve their key goals by creating micro-moments that make us their trusted partner and advisor.

In my day-to-day role, I lead an incredible team of people. To me, success is when I can create a safe environment for them to be creative and thrive – to come to work feeling highly-engaged, motivated, and ready to give their best.

At 5 years old, I discovered my love for astronomy and the solar system. I dreamt that one day I’d work for NASA and made sure that my education focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I ended up not going to work for NASA but thankfully received the chance to go to Japan to study Engineering with a scholarship.


I’m also a big lover of poetry, and couldn’t believe the literary coincidences between the two countries. The word ‘Morocco’ in Arabic means ‘sunset’, whilst the word ‘Japan’ in Japanese means ‘rising sun’ — it truly felt like my journey to Japan was written in the stars! As a child, I only knew Morocco and could only speak Arabic and French. But I was excited about the prospect of moving to a country like Japan that was known for its technological innovation. The tech journey was very much worth it — I love everything in the tech world because it really does not stop innovating!

Unconscious bias has been prevalent in many aspects of my life, and it has shown up in various ways.


An early hurdle in my career was when I was studying engineering in Japan. Being one of the few females in a sea of male students, I was either looked down on as being incompetent or feared as an alien who couldn’t be a ‘normal’ female. I was isolated, unsupported and ostracised simply for being a woman.


When I joined the workforce, I was promoted to my first leadership role a short two years after I started working. As I was young then, the bias I experienced was painful. I was asked to take notes and people questioned my presence in executive board meetings.


This continued throughout my career and it was even more salient after I became a mother. My boss at the time believed that my brain had “shrunk” after maternity leave, to a point that I was apparently unfit to lead. It took all my willpower to realise my worth and look for another job in a different company. The six months between returning to work and leaving the company were the hardest in my 15 years of work. After hitting rock bottom, I was determined to find opportunities to grow in the new company that I had joined, and do right by myself and my team.


A quote I fall back on that was said by Confusious is “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. Life is so positive and Allah is Great. When life throws at you lemons, make the best lemonade you can!

A few years ago, I was told by a boss that I needed a voice coach to ‘fix’ my accent in order for me to progress in my career. He advised me to get a British or American accent, because apparently no one would promote a leader who speaks with a Middle-Eastern accent. This micro-aggression sugar-coated as “coaching advice” hit me to my core. I did a whole lot of soul-searching and reflection on who I was as a person. I asked myself , “Do I want to erase a very intrinsic part of my identity, my voice?”. The decision was vehemently no. I knew that I wanted to keep my Moroccan accent, lead others and stay true to myself. These should not have to be exclusive. I hope that young females who look like me — who have curly hair, curves, brown skin and a different accent – can see me and say “Yes I want to be like her!” and be completely unapologetically themselves.
As difficult as it may feel throughout the challenging moments, know that it’s going to be OK. You will build resilience over time. You are tenacious, razor-focused and intelligent, so be confident! Don’t let anyone make you think or believe otherwise.

On a cheeky note, I would tell my younger self that you’ll find an amazing partner in life who is proud of you, who supports you all the way. He’ll be your rock throughout the good times and bad – you lucky girl!
I see myself continuing in my tech leadership journey, whilst also spending more time with aspiring female talents. I hope to mentor and support their growth while advocating for more girls and women in STEM on a wider level. I know what women go through every day at every milestone – as a fresh graduate, mid-career, as a mom returning to work, a senior leader. I’ve been there and lived it. So I hope to make it easier for the next generation of strong female leaders to come.