Dr Mozhgan Tavakolifard is an individual whose expertise and capabilities transcend disciplines and borders. To talk about what she does, it would be easier to start with what she doesn’t do. She’s an advisor, data scientist, CEO, founder, director, TEDx speaker, and AI lead. Mozhgan’s work has seen her all over the world, working in Tehran, Norway, the USA, Switzerland, and Sweden.
It’s enough to last several lifetimes, but what really caught our attention was her progression and subsequent success in a typically male-dominated field. Currently, Mozhgan works for the well-known, leading tech experts Accenture in Norway as their Nordic AI Lead. At the same time, she’s also their global lead for their Data Science Framework asset, although her primary work focuses on Applied Intelligence Platforms and Responsible AI. Alongside Accenture, shes also the founder and CEO for two tech related companies, iPower.Me and Lemniscate.
Mozhgan’s achievements are outstanding on their own. Backdropped against a male-dominated work culture that can be hostile and unwelcoming to women, her achievements absolutely knock it out of the park. More women are entering STEM fields and education than ever before, but the numbers are still a long way off from being equal. Only 34% of STEM graduates are women, and just 17% of those working in tech in the EU are women. Once they get into the workforce, women find themselves locked out of boardrooms and glass ceilings that prevent them from going higher. Tech is, of course, no different. Worldwide, just 16% of managers in the information technology industry are women, as are only 3% of CEOs and 20% of CFOs.
Mozhgan has gotten to where she is today because she knows what she’s talking about. Her knowledge is expansive and boundless, and it should be because she’s spent years honing her craft. She has a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, and she completed her PhD in Machine Learning from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2012. Since then, Mozhgan has appeared at TEDx conferences to talk about data and privacy. She’s been a visiting researcher at the EPFL and University of California. She was the strategic advisor to Sigma IT & Management, a leading Scandinavian IT services group, for a couple of years.
It can be hard to do what you love. It can be even harder when the numbers aren’t in your favour. Mozhgan has broken down barriers, beaten statistics, and made a name for herself in an industry that is demanding and unforgiving.