#ChooseToChallenge: 30 Nigerian Women In Tech Challenging The Status Quo
Happy International Women’s Day!
A common misconception about working in tech is that you have to know how to code or be involved in some form of engineering. This is one of the reasons why, for International Women’s Day this year, we decided to speak to 30 brilliant women who work in tech across Product Design, Product Strategy, Growth, Marketing, Legal, Compliance, Customer Service, Public Relations, Data Analysis, Operations, Engineering, Human Resources, and Communications.
This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, so it was only fitting that we asked what they are challenging through their roles in technology as well as what they enjoy the most about being women.
Eniola Aminu - Product Designer, Flutterwave
I love how we women show up/out for each other.
I am choosing to challenge and call out the bias, inequality, sexual assault, and discrimination that women face in the workplace and outside of the workplace.
Folayemi Agusto- Co-Founder & CEO, TixAfrica
What I love most about being a woman? Handbags. I can’t believe men just leave their houses the way they do. Where do they put their stuff? Sounds very messy if you ask me. Another thing I love about being a woman is the RANGE most women have. All the women I know and love are multi-faceted people.
I’m choosing to challenge the notion that you can’t build a tech company as a non-technical founder.
Ire Aderinokun- Co-Founder/COO, BuyCoins
What I love most about being a woman is the strength we all have.
I’m choosing to challenge my own internal biases to do better by all women.
Ibukun Akinola- Head of Customer Finance, Piggyvest & Co-Founder, Sharphire Global Limited
What I love the most about being a woman is my strength.
I’m challenging the stereotype that women are more emotional than logical. Power, assertiveness, and confidence should not be attributed to masculinity.
Adegoke Jemima Adedayo- Marketing and Communications Lead, Fliqpay
My tenacity and how protective I am of other women are the things I love most about myself. I always say “as for me and my household, we will forever carry women’s matter on our heads” I will literally do anything anything to cheer on, care for and support every woman known or unknown. I will forever see the best in women.
Through my role in technology, I am choosing to challenge the stereotype that one naturally needs to be tech-savvy in order to break into the technology industry. To encourage more people to commit themselves to help to forge an inclusive world. There are tons of opportunities in technology, and just like learning how to write well, you can teach yourself anything in technology and get better over time.
Abisola “Abby” Epoyun -Legal & Compliance, Flutterwave
My favourite thing about being a woman is certainly the ability to be super strong and firm, solve problems with grace and elegance, keep everyone organized but yet not lose empathy in the process.
I #ChooseToChallenge the negative whispers that sometimes pop up in our heads as women and creates a lack of confidence and inadequacy, that stops us from harnessing our full potentials as women and professionals.
Tosin Oyetade- Marketing Manager, Kuda Bank
To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it before now, but my favorite thing about being a woman is my femininity, and how I can be many different things at the same time.
I’m challenging the ideology that women have to be one thing. I’m making it a thing to showcase the women that I come across in their multifaceted nature. I can be an ambitious career person, as well as the life of the party or a family person depending on what I want. It’s not an either/or situation.
Adora Nwodo- Software Engineer, Microsoft
I believe women are focused, organized, and great at multitasking. I love everything about being a woman because that’s who I am.
I am choosing to challenge the gaslighting- women aren’t crazy for demanding salaries that match their skillsets-, the profiling -just because you think she’s a “pretty” woman doesn’t mean she can’t be a great Engineer-, the mansplaining -if she didn’t ask for your 2 cents, keep it in your wallet.
Overall, this year I #ChooseToChallenge bad behavior in tech and that’s why I try to share my story, give my time and lend my voice when I see women in tech being bullied because that’s just wrong on so many levels.
Funke Onafuye- Co-Founder, CVLoft
My favorite thing about being a woman is my strength.
I #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and stereotypes by being representative of and creating opportunities for women in tech.
Omolara Adejuwon- Senior Android Engineer, Kudi
The fact that I can go from “OMG! I need someone to pamper me” to “We need to go live” in minutes is my favorite thing about being a woman. It’s more complex than that but you get the gist. Lol.
I #ChooseToChallenge myself to get more women into my team this year. If I told you how many women I have on my team right now, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s quite embarrassing.
Ibukun Akinnawo- Launch Lead, pawaPay
My favorite thing about women is our ability to be empathetic and do many many different things well. We wear so many hats and wear them well. If you want something done expertly, hire a woman.
I’m challenging the status quo of there being few women in positions of leadership. I read that there are fewer women in tech now than there were in the 90s. That needs to change. So I’m doing what I can, talking with women who are curious about tech and want to get in. Also, amplifying stories of women who are leading wherever they are and being more visible myself to show other women it’s possible for them.
Yvonne Okoro- Public Relations Executive, TeamApt
There are many things I love about being a woman, but my favorite is that “A woman is a force to be reckoned with”- It’s the fact that I have the power and influence to be whoever I choose, create the life I want for myself without pressure, and also bring life into the world. It’s an indescribable strength.
I choose to challenge the myopic mindset that women must struggle to make great strides in life. I choose to challenge the gender disparity in access to financial services- In Nigeria, many women still lack access to basic financial services. The world needs to fully realize that women are solution providers, curious learners, pathfinders and have the capability to execute as much as the male gender.
Olatokunbo Ogunlade- DevOps Engineer, Venture Garden Group
Ooohh! It’s the amazing capacity women have to conceive, birth, nurture and grow babies, ideas, enterprise In fact anything!!! This is what I love the most about being a woman!
I choose to challenge myself to attain the position of Chief Technology Officer.
Teju Adeyinka- Head of Growth, BuyCoins
It’s the feeling of being part of a collective that’s much larger than myself that I can always feel inspired by and draw strength from.
First, I’m choosing to challenge myself by leaning into parts of my work that are new and outside my comfort zone. With my work in the crypto space, I’m challenging closed financial systems and helping to facilitate the free, open, and borderless exchange of value for everyone.
Nichole Yembra- Founder & Managing Partner, Chrysalis
My favorite thing about being a woman is that we are hella powerful. And not in a dump your woes on me way, but in a despite the odds being stacked against us, still we rise way.
I Choose to Challenge the idea that those who talk the loudest are the smartest. I choose to challenge myself and others to identify and lift up those doing real work who deserve their flowers today.
Seun Runsewe- VP Growth, Softcom
To be honest, I don’t see any perks to being a woman… in Nigeria. I just like my female friends and my son A LOT!
I choose to challenge the notion that you can’t learn anything and become the best at it. You can choose to double down and be kick ass in data analytics or cybersecurity or front-end engineering or product management if you want it enough.
Aniekan Inyang -Data Scientist, Stears
I like the uniqueness that comes with being a woman.
Through my role, I am choosing to challenge the bias against women’s proficiency and excellence, especially in the tech field. I believe anybody, irrespective of gender, can excel at whatever they decide to do once they put in the work.
Ada Nduka Oyom- Developer Relations (SSA), Google
The versatility to it, the ability to multi-task and still win at it. it’s the knowledge of knowing I play a vital role in procreation, it’s so many things encompassed but knowing I have the ability to win.
This year I #ChooseToChallenge the sexual harassment, racism, bias in hiring and promotion, and overall pay inequality faced by black women in the workforce.
Olayinka Fadare- Product Designer, OPay
With the way, the world is currently designed, being a woman is sometimes exhausting. Women often have to navigate a world that is systemically designed to favor men. I love being a woman because no matter the drawbacks we face, we always manage to overcome adversity and come out stronger.
I choose to challenge the notion that tech is masculine and women are not “naturally” equipped for technical roles, by mentoring women to encourage them to pick up more roles in the tech industry.
Yewande Akomolafe-Kalu- Lead, Storytelling, and Branding, Flutterwave
The discovery of what womanhood actually means to me and how it differs in some ways from the women I have grown to love and admire. But also, how similar we are as well.
Through my role in the tech world, I choose to challenge the idea that we cannot build a more equal society through the work that we do on a day-to-day basis.
Layo Ogunbawo- VP Product, Piggyvest
The amazing female friendships I have. You want depth, they have it, pettiness, check, badassery, check; loyalty and total acceptance, check. Plus we (women) live longer than men, so yea :).
Tomilola Adejana -CEO, Bankly
My favorite thing about being a woman is that it comes with a unique skill set, that is interesting in its dichotomy.
Yemisi Ajeojo -Team Lead, Cirkle Labs
My favorite thing about being a woman is how powerful my body is and how you can channel that power into so many other things. Imagine all the things your body goes through during your period, miscarriage, pregnancy, or even childbirth and you do not morph into a different species entirely and are required to go through regular life motions while all these things are going on inside of you.
Through my role in technology, I want to challenge more women to put aside impostor syndrome and go for the optimal role for their skills. I also want to challenge more women to use technology to improve their business operations and create products and services that are scalable.
Oluchi Enebeli- Blockchain Engineer, Bundle Africa.
My favorite thing about being a woman is my ability to creatively multitask, which is an inherent ability in all women.
I choose to challenge the representation of women in Blockchain and tech companies in general, ensuring more women are confidently able to take up technical roles within the space.
Desiree Craig- VP Product, ULesson
The power of my identity. As women, myself included, become more and more comfortable with crafting their individual identities, they also give girls and other women the power to do the same. In a sense, there’s no ideal woman and I love that by being me, I contribute to what a woman can be.
Oluwadamilola Temilade Alao- Team Lead Customer Support, SafeBoda
My favorite thing about being a woman is my ability to nurture.
I am challenging the notion that women are not capable as decision-makers in technology firms.
Chikodili Udeh- Cybersecurity Consultant & CEO, Hacktales
I love that I’m emotionally intelligent.
I’m choosing to challenge more women to occupy space and take up cybersecurity roles by providing them opportunities via sponsored training offered by my startup — Hacktales.
Owanate Amachree- Technical Content Developer, IOV Labs
The power I inherently possess, due to societal dos and don’ts placed on the woman, it took me quite a while to recognize that I can do great things; dream, achieve, soar. I’m reveling in my power and it feels amazing to be a woman who knows her onions.
I choose to challenge unfounded systems, inequality, break societal limitations against women any way I can. I choose to try new terrains and help more women get into tech careers, do more social impact projects via Techrity.org
Tobi Otokiti- Senior Product Manager, Flutterwave & Founder, ProductDive
The world needs the magic of women because we are multipotentialites. Also, we have the ability to bring ideas and humans to life. My favorite thing about being a woman is my power.
I choose to challenge the gender stereotypes through my role in the Tech industry. I want to help more women get into product management.
Mohini Ufeli- Media Manager, Paystack
I don’t have just one favorite thing, but two I would highlight are our softness and strength. Soft. We can be so openly warm and loving and encouraging, which does wonders for the spaces we enter. Strong. It goes without saying, we are capable of growing whole human beings, while still giving of ourselves in so many ways. And ours is often an understated strength. Not of muscle and brawn but of mind and heart. We’re just all-round magic.
I am choosing to challenge the idea that my voice should carry less weight because I’m a woman. And along similar lines, the idea that certain spaces or capabilities are reserved only for men.