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Black in Tech: Dheeman Abshir, Customer Support Specialist at NuvoAir

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Our Black in Tech series features the career path & advice from Black professionals in the tech industry. In this Q&A, Dheeman Abshir, Customer Support Specialist at NuvoAir shares her story.

Where did you grow up and what were you like as a child? What did your parents do for work? 

I had the wonderful opportunity to grow up in two diverse and vibrant cities. I spent most of my childhood in the scenic south of Stockholm, Sweden, where I embraced the outdoors and enjoyed the safety of my neighborhood. Exploring the local parks and playgrounds was a daily adventure. Additionally, my love for books led me to spend countless hours in the local library.

When I turned 11, my family relocated to London, which marked a significant shift in my upbringing. Living in a bustling, multicultural metropolis like London exposed me to a fast-paced and diverse environment. I quickly adapted to the vibrant energy of the city, honing my street smarts and embracing the multicultural tapestry that surrounded me.

Both my parents are remarkable individuals who hail from Somalia. They were young refugees when they came to Europe, seeking a better life. 

Dheeman Abshirt NuvoAir


My dad went through several career transitions during my upbringing. He started as a teacher, and together with his educator friends, he opened a tuition center. Later on, he delved into politics in Somalia before venturing into business development. On the other hand, my mum has been a dedicated caretaker for as long as I can remember. She has been a compassionate caregiver, working with elderly individuals and vulnerable adults with special needs. Her unwavering dedication and the way she positively impacted lives inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare, specifically on the frontline, where I could directly assist those in need.

Dheeman Abshirt NuvoAir

Me, my Dad and two of my siblings in Somalia

Where did you go to college? What did you study and what did you do after graduating? 

I attended the University of East London, where I pursued a degree in medical physiology. The intricate workings of the human body had always fascinated me, and I wanted to explore the possibilities within life sciences and healthcare. Interestingly, during my time in college, I delved into the potential of medical devices replacing pharmacological treatments in a research proposal. It's amazing to see how things have come full circle now that I am working at NuvoAir.

Dheeman Abshirt NuvoAir

At a university lab with some of my fellow students

Following my graduation, I embarked on a career journey at NHS 111, an urgent healthcare telephone service. This role allowed me to triage calls and guide patients to the most suitable course of action. Working alongside experienced clinicians like nurses, paramedics, and doctors, I gained invaluable insights into the challenges faced by healthcare professionals. The fast-paced nature of the job opened my eyes to the tremendous pressure our healthcare system faces in the UK.. 

What inspired you to get into the tech industry?

Following my impactful experience at NHS 111, a former colleague introduced me to Babylon Health, a pioneering digital healthcare company. This marked my entry into the tech industry, an exhilarating transition from traditional healthcare to the realm of digital innovation. Witnessing the transformation of a startup into a fully established company was an incredible journey. I had the privilege of being involved in the introduction and implementation of automation within customer support, collaborating closely with engineers and product managers. It was an exciting experience, ensuring a high level of customer service while managing a demanding workload.

What has your career path looked like in tech and the various positions you’ve held before joining NuvoAir? 

At Babylon Health, I progressed to a senior associate role, which granted me the opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities within my team. I became a trusted point of contact for my colleagues, contributing to the introduction of innovative solutions in customer support. This journey allowed me to constantly challenge myself and explore new frontiers within the tech industry.

Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Customer Support Specialist at NuvoAir?

As a Customer Support Specialist at NuvoAir, I am entrusted with overseeing the entire customer support function. My days are filled with addressing queries from both patients and healthcare providers, ensuring their needs are met promptly and effectively. Additionally, I play a vital role in identifying and reporting any non-conformities, working closely with engineers and developers to rectify any product issues or bugs. Currently, I am focusing on leveraging automation to streamline our customer service management system and enhance the reporting of critical data.

What has attributed to your success thus far and what types of obstacles have you had to overcome along the way as a Black professional? 

My success can be attributed to the incredible support and mentorship I have received from my managers in the tech industry. They have not only guided me but also ensured that I am included in high-level discussions, fostering my growth and development. However, as a Black professional, I have faced the challenge of limited representation of individuals from similar backgrounds in leadership positions. This lack of diversity in leadership hampers efforts to achieve true inclusivity within the tech space. Overcoming this obstacle requires collective action and a genuine understanding of the steps needed to improve diversity in the industry.

What types of programs and initiatives does NuvoAir have that support diversity, equity, and inclusion?

At NuvoAir, there is a vibrant culture that regularly celebrates diversity, fostering an environment where individuals from different backgrounds can share their stories and challenges. This inclusivity makes everyone feel valued and less alone, knowing that others have experienced similar obstacles. Furthermore, NuvoAir fosters a non-hierarchical environment that encourages direct access and open communication with colleagues, regardless of their position within the company. This approach ensures that diverse voices are heard and respected.

What advice would you give to other Black professionals who are interested in joining the tech industry? 

My advice to fellow Black professionals aspiring to join the tech industry is to prioritize networking. Forge connections and build relationships within the field, as these connections can open doors to exciting opportunities. Networking isn't just about securing a job; it's about learning from others and expanding your knowledge base. Embrace every encounter as a chance to gain insights and grow both personally and professionally. By actively engaging in the tech community, you can leverage the power of your network to navigate challenges and propel your career forward.

While general awareness of the problem of diversity in the tech industry is a step forward, to make a lasting change, real actions need to be taken.  Do you have any ideas or suggestions on what companies or employees can do to step up and make a difference?

I think it is important to set diversity and inclusion goals in recruitment but also internal progression. To encourage progression, companies can offer mentorship programs to expose junior employees to discussions where high-level decisions are being made. Also, be supportive of your colleagues from underrepresented groups. This can mean speaking on their behalf, challenging stereotypes and creating a more inclusive environment.

About the

NuvoAir is a virtual healthcare provider that’s changing the way heart and lung conditions are diagnosed, monitored and managed.

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