#HERpower with Manoosh from Exalate

#HERpower with Manoosh from Exalate

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day as we launch #HERpower, spotlighting the remarkable women driving our industry forward.

Get inspired by the women who inspire us!

In this edition, meet Manoosh, our Marketing Manager.

She charts her way from snowboarding to teaching and journalism to theater to tech, as well as her personal journey from Iran to Belgium.

Let’s dive in!


Manoosh Majdzadeh has always been amazed by storytelling, which initially drew her to English literature. She started teaching English at a young age and developed most of her teamwork and leadership skills over more than 15 years of teaching and teacher training.

Her journey took her through journalism, telling stories for an artsy audience, and later to the theatre, bringing tales to life on stage, before transitioning into marketing as a Content Manager. And now as the Marketing Manager at Exalate, she just weaves stories with an incredible team.

The Conversation

Question: Let’s start with a short introduction. Tell us who you are.

Manoosh: I’m Manoosh. I’m originally from Iran, and I have been living in Belgium for almost five years now. I’ve been with Exalate for just over four years.

Question: What is your current role in Exalate?

Manoosh: I’m the Marketing Manager, and I just moved into this position two months ago. Before that, I used to be the Content Manager. That was a long journey with quite a bit of ups and downs, and now I am here!

Question: How did you get into the job in the first place? Why did Exalate appeal to you?

Manoosh: That’s a longer story. My background is in English literature and architecture, and I was always into languages and writing. I wrote my first poem when I was very small and just fell in love with storytelling.

My real journey started when I turned eighteen. I changed my major from mathematics to literature — the best decision in my life — and started teaching at the same age. I was really good at teaching and took up teacher training further down my career path.

On the side, I started writing for different magazines as well as doing some translation from Persian to English.

Theater was my next stop. I started doing theater and literary consultancy, too. I’ve also always been a sports fanatic, so I almost became a snowboarding coach, but I had to stop due to a series of injuries.

So I guess after a while, I just realized how much I enjoy fast-paced environments and well, the choice was clear: the tech sector should be my next stop.

When I moved to Belgium, I started looking at the sector for positions. I came across the Content Manager job at Exalate and went for it.

And from there, everything moved really quickly, which was great because I just loved the pace.

The start was a steep learning curve since it was all new to me, and at times, it was even harder, but then I got used to it and fell in love with it. I learned so much so fast. After a couple of years in the Content Manager role and building a content team, I started wanting to do something bigger, to do more, and I knew marketing was my way forward.

Question: What would you say excites you the most about your change in roles, and what scares you about it?

Manoosh: What excites me the most is the fact that I have more say. I believe in practice, you never become the Head of Marketing because the people you work with are experts in their own fields.

You work with a group of experts, you learn the whole dynamic of the team, and should just facilitate it all for them. So now I’m getting to drive something bigger. The scary part, for me, is how to keep the team motivated. Everything in tech is so fast-paced, and SaaS is having a challenging time at the moment, so ensuring no one gets burned out is really important.

Question: As a woman in tech, what are the benefits and challenges that you’ve faced?

Manoosh: That’s a difficult question because we have the tech sector and then we have Exalate.

The way our company is geared and how it sees you is different from the overarching industry.

This has been my only tech position, so I don’t have a frame of reference for other companies. I relish the opportunities that the company provides for me and other women — and the chance to work with so many other great women. I’ve watched other women here thrive, and I’ve learned so much from that. But there are obviously a lot of challenges, as the industry is still male-dominated.

I understand that there are a lot of women in tech who are still asking themselves how they’re perceived within the industry. It should be a brutal question to ask yourself as a woman. Do you have to prove yourself first as a capable employee and then do your job?

Question: So you’re saying that regardless of the sector, the environment within the company makes the difference?

Manoosh: Exactly. 

Question: And what companies can do is build an equal environment, so women don’t feel as though they have to prove themselves professionally. Who would you say is responsible for driving this change within SaaS?

Manoosh: I think it’s crucial for all tech companies to really invest in their culture and values, like inclusivity and equality between men and women. In general, I believe it’s mainly driven by the founders; they have to have a mindset about everything, like the hiring process, and be open to having people from around the world, regardless of their gender. And I think the mindset should be there from the start; it can’t be built later on. 

Question: If you could talk to the person you were twenty years ago, what is one piece of advice that you would give her from what you’ve learned? 

Manoosh: I used to be more of a perfectionist but I’m not so much anymore. But I’d tell her to just do it. Try and fail, and that’s fine. You can learn from it and move on. I feel like if I’d known that earlier, I could have done a lot more, maybe even started a small business on my own. I’d tell her to try the tech sector sooner and enjoy the skills that come with it. I am really fond of the people, the pace, the different backgrounds, and the intelligence. These people simply inspire you. 

Question: Can you tell us in just one sentence what it is you do?

Manoosh: I conduct a train with an amazing team, which would just go off the rails without even one of them. 

Question: Can you tell us a bit more about Iran, can you share some interesting facts about your home country and its culture? 

Manoosh: Unfortunately, there are two sides to my country. One side is the one the world sees and that’s because of the government and its closed media coverage. And the other side is the Iran represented by people like me. What you’ll see in Iran as a visitor is very different from what the government media shows you. So I‘ll just focus on my people, not the negative stuff like why people leave Iran, which in my case is because you’re forced to have two versions of yourself: one that fits in with the rules there and the one you are in your personal life.

So, one thing about Iran’s culture is that we love to share. We’re very hospitable, and we love guests.

If you come to my country, we’d just take you into our home, serve you our food, and ask you to stay with us for as long as you want. This is really weird for some other cultures, this offering of everything of ours to other people and might even sound strange to some Western cultures. Of all the things in Iran, I miss the people the most. We have quite a dark sense of humor. We’re probably the best at romantic poetry, and still, we joke and laugh about silly things. But at the end of the day, we’re geared towards being a bit sad, thinking – and writing thousands of poems – about the burden of being alive. I guess that’s just a funny contrast.

And last but not least, I should say that I owe it big time to all the Iranian women – and men – who made the world hear about the Woman, Life, Freedom movement that was ignited by the government killing a young woman, Mahsa Amini. 

Shopping Basket