Sanie Buder, System Engineer, Fujitsu Singapore
Data&StorageAsean: How did you get into this part of the industry? Was it intentional?
Sanie: I came to Singapore from Philippines. When I graduated, the IT industry was all the rage and there were many job opportunities. I built my skills on-the-job in backup software and storage. I was also lucky to have found a mentor who helped me keep up to date with the storage world.
Data&StorageAsean: Has there been any resistance you have felt being a woman in a male dominated industry?
Sanie: Actually, I’ve been asked this question many times before, but I haven’t faced any resistance. From the time I took an engineering course, I already knew that it’ll be a male dominated industry. I was once part of a group where I was the only female. However, it was a good experience and I wasn’t treated any differently. I have, of course, had experience working with managers who dreaded having women in the team, but I told them that it really depends on individuals.
As a female, we have our advantages as well. I recall an incident when I was still a field engineer. Due to my smaller fingers compared to my male colleagues, I was able to assist with those hard to reach screws!
Data&StorageAsean: What keeps you motivated day to day?
Sanie: My family motivates me, as well as my desire to learn new things every day.
Daya&StorageAsean: Do you have a role model in the industry?
Sanie: It’ll have to be my mentor, Mr Obata, who introduced me to the world of storage. Mr Obata started as a storage engineer and now holds a management role in Fujitsu’s Global Technical Support team in Japan. He is very experienced and has strong technical knowledge. Once, I had needed help with the details of a new storage model. Unfortunately, majority of the colleagues were away on holidays, due to the festive season. Nevertheless, Mr Obata persisted and helped me find someone who could provide the answers, even though he holds such a senior role. I really appreciate the effort he has taken to help me over the years. I look up to him because he inspires me to be like him, well loved and respected.
Data&StorageAsean: Any advice to someone interested in the industry about what to look out for in data/storage?
Sanie: Technology is always changing and evolving, and trends may be different each day. New products come and go. However, if your foundation is strong and you have a strong grasp of the fundamentals, you will never go wrong.