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#MyJourneyToSoftcat

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Ali El-Kaloush

Joined: September 2017

Job title: Project and Programme Management Lead – North

Softcat is all about people.  We believe in the power of embracing different life experiences, diverse cultures, and points of view, so everyone can enrich their understanding and benefit from new ways of working to ensure our community of talent continues to grow in the right way.

Read Ali’s story here.

What is your role?

I manage the Project Managers based in Manchester and Project Coordinators across all Softcat offices.

What drew you to apply for Softcat?

My brother and friend had both previously worked at Softcat and told me about the fast-paced challenging environment, people orientated culture and the great opportunities there were for growth. These were all things that I was looking for as I embarked on the next phase of my career in IT.

Why is inclusion important to you?

Inclusion is important to me for several reasons, but I think the main point is being accepted for who you are, free of prejudice. If you peel away common social behaviour and unconscious bias, we are all one and the same. We should not have to live in a world where who you are, where you come from, what religion you practice or don’t practice or the colour of your skin determines how you are treated.

Tell us more about your background?

My parents came to the UK in 1980 as political asylums, fleeing the violent rule of Gaddafi in Libya. I was born and raised in the UK and it was only safe for us to return to Libya in 2004. At 16, I met many family members who I had never seen before and was introduced to a country and culture that I had only heard about from my parents or reading the news. I immediately felt at home and since then I have visited at least once a year.

Libya is a beautiful yet misunderstood country in North Africa. Nestled between Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, it is mostly made up of desert with the majority of the seven million population living along the Mediterranean coastline. It has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and is the 4th largest country by land size in the African continent.

Most people associate civil war, dictatorship, terrorism and oil when they think of Libya, but as with many other countries in that region the actions of a minority have overshadowed everything else that it has to offer. To me the best parts of Libya are the beautiful sandy beaches, amazing culture, historical sites from the Ottoman era and Italian colonies and the fact that everyone is just so friendly! I’ve included a few pictures below of the real Libya, a place I call home and will always be proud to say I come from.

My religion is also extremely important to me. I am proud to be a Muslim and to practice my belief. It has often been difficult to practice my faith, particularly in the workplace, but I have always stood strong, and I love to talk about Islam to others and to provide an insight into such a beautiful yet sometimes misunderstood religion. I have also always encouraged those who want to ask questions or are unsure about what they read, see or hear in the media or from others, to ask and never feel embarrassed or scared to offend.

inclusion

What advice would you give someone thinking about joining Softcat?

If you are looking for a place that gives you the opportunity to build your capabilities, invest in your development and really care about your well-being not just business performance, then you should look no further. Softcat creates an environment for you to really spread your wings and achieve to your fullest potential.

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