Mother · Mentor
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.
Shelmina has been focused on sharing her insights to accelerate the success of girls and women. Her insights and life’s journey have enabled women to recognize their power from inside out and changed their life’s trajectory.
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.
Recognizing her power of thought and choices, she turned every challenge into an opportunity for growth, she rose to become one of the highest ranking woman of color at IBM while raising her children as a single mother since they were 2 and 4.
Shelmina has degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. She started her career as a software developer and then moved into sales and sales leadership. She has successfully led multiple teams to grow profitable revenue in various sectors. As part of IBM’s top talent, she has received extensive leadership training at IBM, Harvard University and UCLA.
She has spoken at many corporations and conferences including Google, Edward Jones, WITHOrg, AAHOA, GirlUp leadership summit, Young Women Empowered career day, NCWIT awards gala, Women In Computer Science at University of Oregon in Eugene and Young Women in Business leadership conference at Harvard University.
Shelmina serves on the advisory board of Girl Up founded by United Nations foundation which engages girls to stand up for girls globally, empowering each other and changing our world.
Shelmina serves on the board of TiE-Seattle: world’s largest non profit global organization that fosters entrepreneurship.
Based on the tremendous transformation, she has witnessed in many women, she is now extending her sphere of influence by writing a book.