Born in a middle class environment in the Middle East, Nadine Saadi was taught that education for girls like her was everything: qualifications were the only thing that would enable the rest of the world to understand her value. When she brought up the idea of moving to Australia to study IT at Flinders University in Adelaide therefore, her parents were in full support despite being reluctant to see her move so far away from home.
She sped through her Bachelors’ degree in just two years and recognising her skills, the University ended up employing her post graduation, where she helped develop a software program to commercialise the research gathered from the Universities laboratories and take their findings to market. Interested in new businesses and tech innovation, she began to actively involve herself in the Startup Community in Adelaide - participating in several Hackathons pitching ideas for new businesses.
Nadine moved to Melbourne in 2017. She spent a few months feeling a little lost and struggled to write up a resume. None of the recruiters she saw were able to “package her into a box” or figure out her niche. Eventually after chatting with a Tech Recruiter at a Startup networking event, she realised her skills were most aligned with the role of a Product Manager.
She completed a Product Management course online, and started applying for roles. Receiving calls and emails 3 to 4 times per week Nadine was being invited for interviews almost every week. But they didn’t seem to get anywhere beyond the interview stage. Seeking out further qualifications related to the industry, she gained another certification whilst continuing to apply for roles and attending 2nd, 3rd and 4th round interviews, creating projects and presentations for some. Consistent feedback seemed to suggest that Nadine was being judged against other candidates, and that these potential employers were opting for candidates traditionally judged as “safer” than a woman of ethnic minority. This went on for 8 months.
“Rejection is just redirection”
Recognising it would be easy for her to succumb to feeling dejected and unhappy, Nadine instead resolved to use this experience as motivation to change direction, and decided she was meant to become her own boss. She began networking and looking for freelance projects, organising another Startup Weekend Hackathon in Melbourne as well as a Women in Tech event in Sydney. Alongside this, she founded her own Startup website: GiftSkout.com. Soon she realised she was spending more time looking for work than actually working. She heard about Weploy via a friend and became a Weployee in mid 2018.
Nadine’s first job was in HR at Comdain Infrastructure, where she used her affinity for software to help automate some of the processes Eva and her team were performing manually. Following this she was snapped up by REA where she was photographed by the marketing team and is now featured on the company’s Diversity and Culture homepage. Nadine spoke at Startup Grind in December 2018 about Diversity in the workplace and now considers being a Weployee her full time job: “It’s such a relief not to have to worry about all the searching for work anymore. The Weploy team and the companies who are using them are open minded and forward thinking – values that are aligned to my own interests. Being a Weployee is empowering! I’ve had some opportunities being a member of the community that I’d never have had before, and Weploy has allowed me to build my network, work with some really cool people and enabled me to feel completely free of worry over my next paycheck.”