Google Hangout with 4 women in tech (Mar 21)

Looking for career opportunities in the tech industry? Sign up for a Google Hangout with 4 women in tech on March 21st Click To Tweet

Want to start a career in the tech industry but not sure where you’ll fit in? Already a woman in tech but want to connect with other women in tech and ask some of your pressing questions?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you need to join this Google Hangout. You’ll get a chance to hear how these 4 amazing Nigerian Women In Tech have built their careers and also ask any questions you have.

We are partnering with Google Women Techmakers to bring you a Google Hangout discussion on Wednesday, March. 21st, with 4 women in tech, who have been in the game for a while.

BellaRose Okojie heads a content development team providing tech news and reviews in a never before seen manner. Damilola Teidi directs incubator programs by bringing new technology solutions to market. Judith Okonkwo is a technology evangelist, business psychologist and organization development consultant with experience working in Africa, Asia, and Europe.   Yetunde Sanni is a software developer leveraging technology to tackle challenges in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • Getting started in the tech industry.
  • Why become a woman in tech.
  • Career opportunities for women in the tech space.
  • Incorporating technology into your business.
  • Discussing the root causes of the misconception that ‘Tech is Boring’.

 Google Hangout details:

  • Date: Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
  • Time: 1pm Lagos
  • Location: Register below to get the exclusive link to join this Google Hangout.

Watch the Google Hangout video here: 

About our women in tech:

BellaRose Iyere-Okojie is a seasoned broadcaster and cheeriest of the pack. She is the morning show host on City 105.1fm, having started her broadcasting career as an associate producer with Africa Independent Television (AIT).

Bella is currently a partner at Greenstreet Media Networks, owners of TechCity where she heads the content development team providing tech news and reviews in a never before seen manner. She also trains presenters and voice over artists who want to hinge on the TechCity platform.

Bella Rose is Mass Communication graduate of the Redeemer’s University.

 

Damilola Teidi started her career journey as a software developer, and is currently the Director of Incubation at Co-creation Hub and has seven years experience working in the technology space in Nigeria. She is passionate about using technology to solve problems.

Prior to re-joining CcHUB as Director of incubation, she worked as Chief Executive Officer of GoMyWay Africa, the carpooling platform for intracity and interstate trips, where she led the growth of the start-up to 12,000 members up by 150% from 4000 members in 2016.

Damilola holds a First class Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus and a distinction in Strategy and Innovation management (MSc) from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Judith Okonkwo was born in London but grew up in Austria, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Japan. In 2016 she set up Imisi 3D in Lagos, a creation lab building the extended reality ecosystem (augmented and virtual reality) in Nigeria.

She sits on the board of the European Organisation Design Forum, is a guest lecturer at the Lagos Business School and the University of Westminster; and is the creator of the Oriki Coaching ModelTM.

Judith is also the co-founder of We Will Lead Africa a movement curating and sharing everyday African leadership stories and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

 

Yetunde Oluwatoyin Sanni is currently a software developer with Andela, where she builds software solutions for Andela partners across the globe by the day and actively a machine learning expert to be at night.

She loves to see herself as a tech junkie who’s passionate about leveraging technology to tackle challenges in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. 

Yetunde is also a founding partner at TechInPink, an initiative dedicated to mentoring and supporting young women in tech. There, she writes about technology, organizes events and basic programming training targeted at young women in the universities.


 

Meet the women taking their place as CEO’s in Kenya

A lot has been said about women entrepreneurs in Kenya.

Women have distinguished themselves and we have trailblazers like Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Industries, Flora Mutahi of Melvin’s Tea, Gina Din Kariuki of Gina Din Communications, Judith Owingar of AkiraChix, Lorna Rutto of Eco posts, Ruth Mwanzia of Koola Waters, Shikha Vincent of Shikazuri and Michelle Ntalami of Marini Naturals to name a few.

Entrepreneurship is mainly about business skills, determination, resilience, networking, and social impact. Women are working their way into this area and are slowly but surely making headway.

A lot of focus and support has been given to women entrepreneurs through grants, training, access to finance and favorable government policies like Access to Government Procurement (AGPO) to name a few. More women are encouraged to participate in this sector.

Women in the corporate world have an uphill task to get their place and break all the glass ceilings. Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook, in her book LEAN IN, gives insights into what the life of a woman in corporate America is and how to maneuver it.

According to Fortune.com, there were 27 women at the helm of Fortune 500 companies as at January 2018. How about corporate Kenya?

I admire women in the corporate world because apart from the normal barriers they encounter and overcome, boys club mentality, patriarchy, high technical skills, experience, glass ceiling mentality (Gender stereotyping), sexual harassment, inflexible working conditions and integrity.

The corporate world is harsh and cutthroat. The impact is mostly measured in terms of PROFITS and PROFITS. Only recently have corporates embraced a wider scale to measure the impact of CEO’s to include social impact, teamwork, employee innovation and customer retention to name a few.

This shift gives women a chance to shine as their natural skills of collaboration and teamwork are an asset.

Entrepreneurship is forgiving on the requirements of higher education and experience. A person with a basic education can quickly become a business mogul. However, in the corporate world, experience and education have a lot of weight.

The current trend to consider leadership, softer skills and strategic leadership has made it more accessible for women.

Due to gender roles and social pressure, many women in the past were not in a position to access higher education and therefore did not get promotions to enable them to rise up.

Currently, women are taking up chances to improve their education hence giving them more edge to compete in the corporate world. Experience is a matter of time; men had an advantage of this. In the last 20 years, women have proved that given a fair chance they too climb the corporate ladder right up to the top.

Why do we need women in CEO positions?

 

People in the corporate world manage a large amount of money and direct how it is used. Gender diversity has also been proven over the years to increase profits and performance of corporations.

Therefore, further inclusion of women has been proved to attract talent in the boardrooms where innovative solutions are created. Invariably more women-friendly products and policies emerge from companies that are managed by women. After all, women are 50% of the consumers of products and services.

The simple fundamental reason why women should be in the corporate world is that it’s fair and inclusive to do so.

In Kenya, we have many distinguished ladies at the helm of corporates and organizations. This has increased recently, but to date, only 2 women lead corporations listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange i.e. Maria Msiska of BOC  (until 2016) and Nasim Devji of DTB Bank. We can do better.

Here are examples of Women CEO’s in Kenya:

  • Jennifer Riria is a pioneer of women in CEO position and has been holding this and similar positions in the microfinance and banking industry for 20 years. She is the CEO of Kenya Women Holdings that has a subsidiary Kenya Women microfinance Bank which is a leading bank for women entrepreneurs. She is a Ph.D. holder and has a Degree and Master degree as well.

 

  • Stella Njunge: CEO of Sanlam Life, part of Sanlam Kenya Group. She has over 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry,  a CPA(K), CPS(K), and holds a degree and masters. Stella also has over 16 years’ experience in Insurance.

 

  • Catherine Karimi: CEO of APA Life part of Apollo Group a leading insurer in Kenya. She has 18 years’ experience in Insurance industry, a degree, postgraduate certificate in Actuarial Studies, and is a member of Chartered Insurers (UK).

 

  • Rita Kavashe: is the CEO of General Motors East Africa, Kenya with 35 years’ experience working at GM. She has a degree and postgraduate certificates and rose through the ranks.

 

  • Phyllis Wakiaga: is the CEO of Kenya Association of Manufacturers. She has a law degree, Higher Diploma in Law and Human Resource Management, Master Degrees in International Trade and Investment Law and Business Administration.

There are many more female CEO’s in Kenya. The common items in their profiles are EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE.  This is a true testament that education is an equalizer.

Given equal opportunity and based on merit, women can excel and are excelling in the corporate world. Girls need to be encouraged to plan their career path early to help them reach the top CEO positions to bridge the current gap.

I look forward to more women taking up the CEO roles and reducing the barriers to getting there.


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