Farhein Akmal – CM District Health Board: Make a Difference

Where do you work and your role title?
Counties Manukau District Health Board, Auckland –
Business Intelligence Analyst


Get To Know Me
Favourite ice-cream flavour: Almond!

Wrap up in the shortest sentence possible what your role means.

Connecting healthcare industry with latest technology to up their data science and business intelligence game!

What is the interesting / challenging part of your work?

I get to interact with doctors and clinicians on a daily basis and work towards making a difference in the health industry, which is so crucial for everyone’s wellbeing.

What attracted you to choose a STEM field?

I was always passionate about health industry and I’m all about making a difference in the world. Analytical and logical skills come naturally to me and hence, I pursued to gain more knowledge and experience in the field of data science so that I can bring more of that to the healthcare industry.

Farhein received the AUT Edge Award for her employment, leadership and volunteering work

What is your biggest achievement that you are most proud of? How do you track and express your achievements in the workplace and beyond?

I’m not sure about the biggest, but it’s one of the most dearest achievements of mine – I won Datacomp Hackathon twice in a row (2018 and 2019). It’s a 48 hours Hackathon where participants come from around the world!

Farhein with her “Advance To Go” award at Datacomp Hackathon 2019

I pitched my two different ideas around mental and emotional wellbeing both the years, formed a team on the spot and ended up not only winning the Hackathon, but also saw that Datacom invested in those ideas to make it a full fledged product. In 2018, we got the first prize and in 2019, our different digital solution received an “Advance To Go” award. 🎉

I track my achievements on the basis of satisfaction that I brought not only to myself, but also to many others.

Who are your mentors or role models that helped you either directly or indirectly?

There were many mentors and role models who helped me in my professional journey. However, I will forever be grateful to the below three mentors for their constant support, encouragement and motivation at every step.

Farhein’s Mentors
1. Professor Dave Parry – Head of Computer Sciences at AUT University, New Zealand
2. Dr Mirza Baig – Project Lead at Orion Health
3. Joan Lau – Analyst Team Lead at CM District Health Board

How do you think women can be game-changers in time of crisis?

I believe women are great at multitasking – it comes naturally to them! They are empathetic and always motivated by challenges. A leader with all these qualities along with other leadership skills is enabled to bring a positive change in the world.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Are there any technology resources that you would recommend?

Growth should always be constant either in your professional line or in terms of learning curve.

The moment I achieve what I wanted to achieve, I set up a new target for myself

It can be an online course or preparing for a new certification exam. Along with these targets, I look for tiny opportunities in my day to day life where I can apply my leadership skills – usually it’s by being proactive at my workplace and being compassionate towards others.

Farhein being interviewed and filmed at Auckland University of Technology campus

It’s your day off. What do you do to relax?

I relax either by travelling or making content for my YouTube channel! 🎥

What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?

You are doing good. Keep doing what you are doing. The moment you get too comfortable at one place, it means you are not growing, and hence it’s time for a switch. 😉

What makes you RARE?

That even though I am a STEM woman, I don’t limit myself to make a difference only in STEM. I do a lot of voluntary community work. I aim to motivate other women to grow both professionally and personally.

I want women to realise that the power to bring change is within them

I also take out time for performance art apart from my 9 to 5 job – I do theatre, short films and dance sequences. Life is short – I believe in making the most of it and in experiencing every bit of different flavour.

Farhein choreographed a group dance for 10 semi-finalists of Mr. and Ms. Diwali 2018, a pageant organised by The Indian Weekender in New Zealand

Want to know more about Farhein? Connect with her on LinkedIn

One thought on “Farhein Akmal – CM District Health Board: Make a Difference

  1. Farhein, you are a RARE, game-changer who brings positivity in everyone’s life.
    You gave a good summary of you as a person who is a STEM to Technology and Culture too.
    Good luck to you. Keep inspiring. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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