Samar Alrayyes joins MACSO’s board of directors
Updated: Jan 21
Through her technical and sales background and true desire to make the world a better place, Samar Alrayyes brings a wealth of skills to her advisory role on MACSO’s board. She’s excited to support a female-founded business and aligns with MACSO’s ethical approach to IoT, AI, and Edge technologies.
“I feel extremely honored to join the board,” says Alrayyes, “I can’t wait to see the success that Saba and MACSO will bring to the market.”
Alrayyes’ journey began in Jordan, her home country, where she studied computer engineering and graduated top of her class. She was one of only four women in her programme out of 660 students.
Following graduation, she was recruited by Oracle, working as a support engineer on a team opening offices in Jordan supporting Europe. While she enjoyed the technical side of the role, Alrayyes realized she wanted a position that used more of her social skills and interest in business. So, she turned to sales. Several pre-sales positions at Oracle (including building the system they use to generate leads) and a move to New Zealand later, Alrayyes accepted a senior sales position with Microsoft focusing on Azure. In 2018, she earned her MBA in Management, which helped her have a deeper understanding of businesses and their needs.
Now, after six and half years in New Zealand, Alrayyes works as a Senior Client Executive at Microsoft. When asked to describe her current role, she says it’s about solving problems, something she hopes to carry on at MACSO.
“My role now is having conversations with businesses or government organisations about how they can offer better services to New Zealand citizens,” she says. “Sometimes the conversation is focused on computing and AI, but it can also be broader. We solve problems about efficiency, frontline workers, inclusion, and health and safety.”
For Alrayyes, working in tech has been rewarding but not without challenges. She is passionate about technology and what it can do for our society but is also aware of the gender gap in the industry. In her own career, she has been the only woman in the room, the only female leader, and paid less than her male counterparts. This has motivated her to help other women working in tech by co-chairing the New Zealand non-profit TechWomen.
“At TechWomen, we support organisations on initiatives for young girls to go into tech and STEM. We want women to understand all the career paths they can take in the industry. For women who are mid-career, we have mentorships and upskilling programmers– this is especially important when they have to leave and re-enter the workforce.”
As Alrayyes joins MACSO’s board, she looks forward to supporting Saba Samiei’s journey as a female founder. From the time they met, Alrayyes and Samiei felt like they had a commonality.
“We met while working at Microsoft, but in different divisions,” reminisces Alrayyes, “and it was an instant connection.”
Alrayyes describes that while they don’t come from the same country, speak the same language, or have the same religion, they share the same story of ambition and drive.
“We both know a lot about working hard to get to where we are. We know what it takes to leave your country– your friends, family, everything– because you want to be successful,” she says. “A big part of my role on the MACSO board is to support Saba. As a female founder, it can be lonely, and I want to be there for Saba so she can continue being the aspiring leader she is.”
Alrayyes’ value for a fair opportunity for all people aligns with MACSO’s mission for accessible and ethical IoT, AI, and Edge technologies.
“Technology is not a separate industry anymore,” says Alrayyes. “It is part of everything we do. It is the backend of every industry, so it is essential that the technology we use and build with is ethical, accessible, and inclusive.”
While serving on the board, Alrayyes will contribute her technical and sales expertise to help with strategy and business development. She hopes her work with MACSO, like all the other work in her career, will help make the world a better place.
“I am extremely honored to have Samar as my advisory board member. She brings a wealth of technical and sales skills and most importantly she brings a lot of energy and passion. I am looking forward to this cooperation and making a positive impact in the world using cutting-edge technologies and a high caliber of advisors.”