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Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections.
About Odunayo Eweniyi
Odunayo Eweniyi is the co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of PiggyVest. She previously co-founded pushcv.com, one of the largest job sites in Africa with the largest database of pre-screened candidates. She has 5 years’ experience in Business Analysis and Operations and is a First-Class graduate of Computer Engineering, Covenant University, Nigeria.
She was named one of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Technology in 2019 and one of 30 QuartzAfrica Innovators 2019. She sits on the advisory board of TrainFuture, an education technology company based in Switzerland, as well as the Gender Lens Acceleration Best Practices Initiative, a collaborative effort of Village Capital, US and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi).
In 2019, she was named SME Entrepreneur of the Year West Africa by The Asian Banker’s Wealth and Society and she is the youngest Nigerian on Forbes Africa list of 20 New Wealth Creators in Africa 2019.
Odunayo was also one of the featured speakers at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meeting in 2019. She is one of Business Day’s Spark 2019 Women to Watch and made the World Women in Fintech Power List for 2017; the YNaija Most Influential People in Technology 2017 and 2018. She is a 2018 Westerwelle Young Entrepreneurs fellow; and she is a recipient of The Future Africa Awards Prize in Technology 2018.
In honour of her work, she was named one of 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria 2019 by Leading Ladies Africa, one of 50 most visible women in Tech by Tech Cabal in 2019. She is also included on the #YTech100 2019 list of the brightest Nigerian technocrats. She is the Her Network Technology Woman of The Year 2019. She was also voted The Most Influential Young Nigerian in Science and Technology 2019.
She works to support the inclusion of women in technology by working with hubs and female-focused networks like For Creative Girls, GreenHouse Labs, She Leads Africa, Itanna etc. She is also the cofounder of the women’s community, Wine and Whine Nigeria.
What does friendship mean to you?
Well to me, friendship means mutual understanding and reciprocity. I like to think of all my friendships as safe spaces that are characterized by genuineness, shared values and free of ignorance and discrimination.
Can you tell us of a time when any of your girlfriends connected you with a career or business opportunity?
Yes actually, in a previous life I was a part-time tech journalist and my friend, Dami, connected me with a well-paying, writing gig at an international magazine. I even ended up working there for well over a year.
Is there a time when your friend(s) helped you through a difficult situation in your career?
I have a young career, so no difficult situations have stood out there, but my friends are constantly helping me out of sticky situations, and outside of work, they always come through for me.
How many women do you have in your power circle, and why did you choose them?
I have five women in my power circle and the thing is, I wouldn’t say I chose them, as much as they accepted me for who I am. As a person with Asperger’s syndrome, I am definitely an acquired taste.
So these five women, who are actually angels really, have moved through life with me with an understanding of who I am and I, them. But in addition to that, we share values, and despite having varied and many different goals, we work towards it together by supporting each other.
How do you think young women can network with other women to achieve career success?
To be honest, I think that would be much the same as they network with anyone else. There’s really no special way to relate with women. I think if you just treat people in general with empathy and respect, then you’re well on your way.
What is your fondest memory of you and your girlfriends, from when you first began your careers?
I actually started having girlfriends, or friends at all, after I started my career. So the memories we built, were built after we all started working and were at many different points in our lives.
Finally, what advice/tips do you have for young career women, to help them build and maintain valuable relationships with other women?
I think this is really general advice to maintain valuable relationships with everyone. It’s this simple, have empathy, have respect and always pay it forward.
To add a caveat though, I 100% believe that female friendships save lives, so I definitely encourage young women to have specifically female support systems. But just overall, move through the world treating people fairly, whether you want from them or you’re giving to them.