Shelmina Babai Abji is a global empowerment speaker, a former IBM Vice President, distinguished alumni, board member, an angel investor and an advisor to C-suite executives. Shelmina’s passion is gender equality in leadership.

In 2014, she left her career as one of IBM’s highest ranking woman of color to share her insights with other women to accelerate their career because if she had had those insights earlier, she would have risen much higher.

Her riveting story telling and career journey have inspired and energized thousands of women globally to fast track their career success.

She has spoken at many corporations, conferences and universities including Google, IBM, Microsoft, Edward Jones, WITHOrg, AAHOA, National Center for Women in Technology, Kenya Economic forum, Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Universities of Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and Harvard University.

Shelmina was born in Tanzania into a family with very strong values and limited material wealth. She had to leave home at 15 to obtain higher education and was the first person in her family to obtain a college degree. Her education was her passport out of poverty.

She balanced her career with raising her children as a single mother since they were 2 and 4. She has led global teams, businesses which delivered over $1B annually and has been a decision maker or an influencer in hiring and promoting hundreds of professionals.

Shelmina has degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. She started her career as a software developer and then moved into sales and sales leadership. As part of IBM’s top talent, she has received extensive leadership training at IBM, Harvard and UCLA.

Shelmina serves on the advisory board of Girl Up, a global leadership development initiative positioning girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality.

Shelmina serves on the board of TiE-Seattle: world’s largest non profit global organization that fosters entrepreneurship.

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