Thursday, December 29, 2011

Entrepreneur Profile: Fatou Jabbie (USL Technology Consulting)

Habari Gani? Ujamaa! Today we celebrate the Kwanzaa principle focused on cooperative economics. It seems like a great day to inaugurate a new feature on our blog. We plan to highlight some of the BDPA entrepreneurs from around the nation. Our hope is that these profiles will help to drive attention and business to the entrepreneurs and business owners within BDPA.

Today our entrepreneur profile is focused on Fatou Jabbie, founder and CEO, USL Technology Consulting.

Fatou Jabbie has over 11 years of experience in Network and Systems Engineering while holding positions ranging from Senior Network Architect to Senior Data Systems Engineer, Technology Solutions Manager in Wireless Telecommunication, Financial services and Media industries. Fatou is a member of our BDPA New York chapter.

Her hands-on experience spans from enterprise network design, integration, configuration, administration and troubleshooting LAN/WAN infrastructure. She’s managed complex projects, and skilled at identifying potential problems and offering alternative solutions; articulate communicator; with the ability to effectively interact with vendors, senior leadership, and cross-functional teams.
Fatou shared the following, "I am going to touch on my experience and the subject of being an underrepresented minority in technology. I am sure a lot of folks in this category can relate to the challenges we face with societal stereotypes and unconscious bias that reinforce the perception that girls and minorities are not as good as boys in math, science, technology and engineering disciplines. I never wanted to buy into it, but it does seem to be a factor that undermines our efforts and perhaps causes some of us to drop out of professional activities.

The triple bias of gender, race and ethnicity has played its fare share of significant disadvantage working in the industry with so few representing as role models and leaders.

A scarcity of role models and mentors reinforces stereotypes of technology as a field that doesn't encourage women or minorities. Students and employees of color see few role models in the higher echelons of the field, getting a message that they do not belong as a minority. It is a sad fact that mentors tend to seek proteges who resemble them in background, race, and gender. This must change because we know that mentoring is critical for encouragement, empowerment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in school and the work place.

With my professional experience, I can absolutely vouch for the fact that mentoring is one of the most important predictors of advancement for women and other minorities. Also it is imperative that underrepresented minorities in technical positions to have the true perception that they possess the attributes necessary for success.

Despite all the stereotypes surrounding underrepresented minorities in math, science, technology and engineering disciplines it is important that we overcome those stereotypes. After all, we know that we have the same attributes successful people in these fields which are analytical, innovators, questioning, risk-taking, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and assertive. However, it is absolutely necessary for underrepresented minorities to have the confidence and self-perception that that they possess the attributes necessary for success which is critical to their success."
Through USL Technology Consulting, founded in May 2010, Fatou diligently investigates new technologies, systems and applications that enable business agility, application availability, and system reliability to run faster, better and smarter.

Fatou is truly a rare breed in the industry because of her interpersonal skills and exemplary ability to understand a company's business while still being able to delve into nitty-gritty technology issues. Being able to successfully outline and communicate solutions to complex technology requests or issues to clients is one of the key differentiators clients appreciate in working with her.

Fatou received a degree in Computer Science from Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY.

You can follow Fatou on Twitter - @Techie4SmallBiz

Our hope is that you will reach out to Fatou to encourage her and to point her in the direction of new business. Also, you should feel free to let me know if you know of other BDPA entrepreneurs or small business owners that we should profile here on our blog!

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