I want a world where success is within the reach of every woman

This piece was published as an op-ed in The Daily Star on March 15, 2021

My newsfeed on International Women’s Day.

“Happy Women’s Day to my superwoman! You got promoted to Vice President at the bank, you are an amazing mom to our kids, you make sure a simple guy like me has his life in order and take care of your parents and in-laws with the utmost care. Salute!”

I wonder what the guy is doing since his wife seems to be doing the work of…

And the results were not good

Ibram Kendi’s book is essential reading to build awareness of racial equity work

Implicit bias is the attribution of certain qualities to specific groups of people without our conscious knowledge. Mostly commonly, it is the attribution of negative qualities to minority groups. While attribution itself is problematic, it rarely stops there. Bias usually manifests itself as discrimination.

This iconic study by Bertrand and Mulainathan found that white-sounding names receive 50% more interview callbacks than African American names. …

How I tamed my inbox and to-do list

I considered myself quite organized until I joined Google in 2018. The volume of emails and the action-items embedded within infinitely long threads with 30 people on CC was on a scale I hadn’t quite encountered before.

After I returned from my maternity leave in the fall of 2019 with only 2,998,999 unread emails, I knew I had to tame the beast. By using a combination of multiple inboxes and a bullet journal, I have been able to find a system to stay organized.

Multiple inboxes

This is also known as zero-inboxing. I use the multiple inbox feature in gmail…

Focus on clarity of purpose

It’s application season. You are applying to graduate schools and dreading the statement of purpose (SOP). Seven years ago I was in your shoes concurrently applying for policy and MBA programs in the US. Having written my fair share of SOPs, I now receive many requests to review them. Reading these deeply personal stories of struggles and aspirations is a privilege and I often end up deepening the personal connection with the candidate in the process. However, I see applicants struggling with a core issue every year: clarity of purpose.

Step 0: Clarify your purpose

There are a lot of personal and professional reasons that…

When applying for my MBA, I didn’t find content that addressed the challenges unique to applying from an emerging country like Bangladesh. This blog post is an effort to fill that gap.

This piece was published in the Taramon blog.

In the evening of March 24, 2014, I was on my way back from Netrokona in a microbus full of my Jeeon colleagues. My phone rang. Unknown number. I picked up expecting it to be spam.

It was Derrick Bolton, Dean of Admissions at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

I don’t remember anything he said, except that I had…

This piece was published as an opinion piece in the Daily Star.

Bangladesh now has a thriving technology startup ecosystem. Companies are reaching scale, attracting significant venture funding and hiring in large numbers. However, one of the byproducts of this happy story is that it will leave women behind. In the US, for example, only about 20 percent of technical roles are held by women. Companies compensate by hiring more women in non-technical roles such as sales and marketing but it is key that women are well-represented in engineering, product management and data science because of the following reasons.


This piece was published as an opinion piece in The Daily Star.

Everyone deserves an inclusive and respectful environment at work. However, women face many challenges in this respect. One such barrier is the daily grind of sexist and misogynist comments, which are a manifestation of the underlying belief that men are superior to women. Dropped casually at the end of a presentation or as crude jokes between male colleagues, such comments belittle women’s work, talent, and dignity.

So what is being said in workplaces that is so problematic? I asked both men and women that question and the responses…

Almost all the students in my Harvard classroom were biased…including me

I had a life-changing moment in 2015 when I was a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School. As part of a development economics class in the MPA/ID program (Master in Public Administration in International Development) we were asked to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) on gender and career. It's a blitz fast 3 minute game of reflexes where you associate certain words with gender. With a full time working mother, an engineering degree from MIT and having held numerous leadership positions in management prior to graduate school…

This piece was published as an opinion piece in the Daily Star.

The importance of women having financial independence cannot be overstated. It is the number one reason women stay in an abusive relationship as they would not be able to support themselves or their children outside of it. As a working woman myself, I am earnest in my efforts in encouraging other women to earn and manage their own money. At the same time, there is a difference between encouraging women to work and shaming them if they choose not to.

I see women being called lazy, being a…

My daughter Aisha was 11 months old when I filed into Cemex for our opening address from Dean Levin. I am a geographically single mom: my husband is back in Bangladesh. He needs to keep working to support us. My parents packed up their apartment in Dhaka and moved to the USA to help raise Aisha while I am in school. I am also a dual degree candidate with the Harvard Kennedy School and the four of us have been on a bi-coastal journey for the past two years.

I could talk at length about the pains and joys of…

Shammi Quddus

Product Manager @ Google | Stanford MBA | Harvard MPAID | MIT Eng

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