Women are often disadvantaged by bias, no matter how intentional or not. Recognizing bias is only half the battle; you must take action to make it less obvious.
These young women are taking steps to combat gender inequality in the tech industry as this year’s IWD theme is “break the bias”.
Techbuild Africa is taking this opportunity to spotlight these young women as they share their experiences in the tech industry.
Adedoyin Afolabi, a 24-year old Nigerian graphic/brand designer is here. Adedoyin is the product marketing team’s lead designer of Sterline Bank, one of Nigeria’s most prestigious banks, she led the team of designers for Social Media Week now called AfricaNXT.
She shared that she had no idea she was in the tech industry, as she just wanted to design.
Adedoyin also said that people are her motivation, as they are the ones making the world go around. Whatever she does she wants to reach people and connect with them.
Her plan to break the bias in her industry will be to have more women. She mentioned that at the beginning of her career, every question she asked was answered by a man. But, there are now more female lead designers than there were in 2022.
Doyin believes in scholarships for girls and women who want to learn design, coding and other skills in order increase the number of women in tech.
She believes that these scholarships will help more women get into the tech sector. Adedoyin’s contribution is to train graphic designers in her community and, she wishes to do so on a bigger scale, to offer her time and skills to help other women.
Ese Nieketien works as a technical support specialist with Tek Experts Nigeria. She supports Microsoft 365 products as well as Microsoft customers all around the world.
Ese shared her story with Techbuild Africa in an interview. She revealed that she started her career in technology as a teenager, starting with repairs and graphics. Ese’s motivation stems from her desire to learn new things and become involved in the world around her.
Ese said that women in tech are often not considered intellectually or qualified enough, or not physically capable enough to fulfill the role. Women, however, tend to be less confident about their ability to lead a tech team.
She said that women must be educated to be able to participate in the technology system. Increase the number of forums, hubs or groups that offer tech classes and education, and show them that technology isn’t gender-based.
She encouraged women to follow a career in technology not for the money but because they love it.
Ajiri Omayokpe is a Web3 product developer in Yellow Card Financial. Ajiri is a technology enthusiast and has always been interested.
Breaking the bias for her means being able to have her technical work valued and not having to jump through hoops merely to prove that she’s capable of advancing to a tech leadership role as soon as the other gender.
Mentorship is a key component of Ajiri’s career because it can help to close the gender gap. Her belief is that having women in tech like her, who can speak to young girls, can help them see that it is possible.
She advised younger girls and women who are interested in pursuing careers in technology to take ownership of their dreams. She advised them to be open to failure, win, and allow for grace. They can overcome their mistakes and become the best version of themselves. They will eventually get there. It will take some time.
Deborah Emeni, a software engineer and active member in tech communities across Africa, spoke to Techbuild Africa.
She began her career in technology in 2018 as an active part of the University of Port Harcourt’s tech community, as well as an active member of Google’s Developer Student’s Club, where she rose to become the club’s leader. She was attracted to the work of young professionals in tech by seeing them.
Techbuild was told by Deborah that there is more to be done to end bias in tech. She also suggested that women should voice their concerns when they feel underpaid because of gender.
She believes that women should not be restricted to their different skills but should take part in empowerment programs and earn degrees.
Deborah recommended that women join tech groups and get involved. Deborah encouraged all girls to be bold, pursue their dreams and take risks. She advised them to learn technology and enroll in courses if they wish to become a tech talent. Deborah advised that you should pursue technology opportunities if you see them.