Celebrating Women Constantly Breaking The Bias in The African Tech Ecosystem

A day is never enough to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias or take action for equality. This should be an everyday and all-year-round call to action for everyone.

This year’s theme — #BreakTheBias — is a reminder to everyone that there are biases in our communities, workplaces, schools, etc. that need to be broken. Whether deliberate or unconscious, the bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. It is our duty to accelerate women’s equality by collectively breaking the bias.

To mark IWD 2022, we are celebrating these 22 women (listed alphabetically) that constantly break the bias every day and continually forge innovation in the African tech ecosystem in different sectors and roles.

Meet Adesuwa

Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes is the Founder & CEO of Aruwa Capital Management. She invests in early-stage growth businesses in Nigeria and Ghana that are for women or by women, providing essential goods and services such as healthcare, financial services, essential consumer goods, and renewable energy. Aruwa Capital Management invests in businesses that use tech-enabled solutions to deliver these essential goods and services to the most people in a scalable way across our markets. As the Founder of Aruwa Capital, she is passionate about using their success stories to make the business case for investing in women across all levels of society.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate women around the world across every level of society, for the contributions they make each day to society. Women as mothers, wives, CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, board members, and everything in between. This year’s theme of Break the bias is a perfect way to remind society of the unconscious biases that still exist in society and the uphill struggle women have to face every day to have a voice and to be heard. At Aruwa Capital, we are very excited to be breaking this bias by having more women as capital allocators and empowering the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

My advice is to be persistent, keep going no matter what, and know your why. Let your why and your impact be your driving force.

Follow Adesuwa on Twitter @AdesuwaOR

Meet Andreata

Andreata Muforo is a Partner at TLcom Capital. At TLcom, she leads VC investments in early to growth stage tech-enabled businesses in Africa from origination, investment, management through to exit. She serves on the Boards of their portfolio companies such as Autochek, SeamlessHR, Twiga Foods, among others. She also co-led TLcom’s annual Africa Tech Female Founder Summit aimed at inspiring, empowering, and connecting tech female founders.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a celebration and recognition of the contribution women make in our society.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Go for it, pursue your dreams. There are several opportunities in tech either as a founder, working for a tech company, or being an investor in tech companies. Do the inner work to become comfortable in your skin, to know who you are and the value you bring. It’s vital to have a strong sense of self before entering the world.

Secondly, hone your skill sets. Make sure you are technically competent and continue to enhance yourself. Unfortunately, the biases in our world remain but when you’re competent, it helps. Also, find mentors and coaches you can be authentic with and who will support you along the journey. Having a strong network is critical to climbing up the career ladder and as you rise to the top, make sure you give back and bring other women along with you.

Follow Andreata on Twitter @AMuforo

Meet Atinuke

Atinuke Idowu is the co-founder and COO at Termii. She oversees Termii’s operational processes and ensures the implementation of business plans and strategies. She also works with all teams to optimize their company’s operating capabilities, employ strategies to maximize customer satisfaction, and oversee all partnership and marketing initiatives.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a day when the achievements and efforts of women should be made known to all. Over the years, women have been seen as weak, disadvantaged, less appreciated. I believe that beyond general awareness, everyone should intentionally celebrate the women in their lives.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

It is important to know why you intend to start a career in tech and be ready to evolve. Also, your motivation for starting a career in tech should be strong enough to keep you going.

Follow Atinuke on Twitter @IamPeculiarTee

Meet Chidi

Chidi Uguru is the Lead, BizDev/Sales at Rise. Rise is a wealth manager for individuals and companies. It’s her job to find the wealth and direct it to Rise.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s the day companies remember to say nice things to their female employees. It’s also one of the days to remember and celebrate the impact that women have on society.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Assess your skills, map out what jobs they can get you right now, and then apply for the stuff just above it.

Follow Chidi on Twitter @Chidi_Guru

Meet Chidinma

Chidinma Okafor is a software engineer with an Andela partner — Coursera. Coursera offers a wide range of online courses, certifications, and degrees. Most of her work is around growth and providing potential learners with access to all the information they need to decide if a degree/certification is right for them.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day to me is many things. A chance to uplift women all over the world, saying — “You are seen and loved. Your struggles are valid. We won’t stop fighting, together”. Then a reminder to celebrate all the progress regarding gender equality and the SDG5 goal. Lastly, a prompt that there’s still work to be done.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Start, you’ll figure it out along the way. Look for courses, boot camps, or schools because they consolidate knowledge, which can be helpful for beginners. It may get challenging. However, to see real progress, you have to remain consistent. Consistency beats intensity, always.

Follow Chidinma on Twitter @nmaokafor

Meet Chinny

Chinny Eze is a Product Manager at Nestcoin, managing its crypto media platform called Breach. As a product manager at Nestcoin, she leads a cross-functional team in building Breach, a crypto media platform that breaks down crypto into digestible forms. She specifically spearheaded the creation of Breach, leading the team from conception to three newsletter series per week and over 7,500 crypto-curious users. She also drives the overall vision & strategy behind Breach, incorporating a Learn-to-Earn model, gamification & structured learning into the product to bring our vision to fruition.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is really special to me because it’s a day where we can collectively celebrate women and their achievements as a society. It’s a day where we can acknowledge the challenges women face while highlighting women as the effective and powerful leaders and change-makers they are. It’s also a great time to pay tribute to the women that came before me, and have pushed me to where I am today.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

The best piece of advice I would give to any woman looking to start a career in tech is to “advocate for yourself”. Figure out what your unique talents and skills are, and make those skills your superpower. It’s very important that in the early stages of your career you are able to take up space, challenge the inner thoughts that may cause self-doubt, assume everything is negotiable & take calculated risks.

Follow Chinny on Twitter @mozschino

Meet Diseye

Diseye Amy Naasin is the Happiness Engineering Lead at Eden Life. She leads all People Operations, Culture & Engagement efforts at Eden. She ensures that every employee at Eden has the structure, environment & tools that they need to be happy and to do their best work.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Every year, on International Women’s Day I read/watch/hear stories about women achieving significant things in their personal lives & careers, women doing things they’re passionate about in different variations despite societal or cultural disapproval. These stories make me feel hopeful, excited & motivated. I want to have the best of different worlds, IWD makes me believe that I can because other women have.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Have all the audacity you can muster and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with shooting your shot even when you do not feel good enough because more often than not, you are good enough. So, apply for that role, take that meeting, speak at that panel. You might think there are no opportunities for you in tech, but I can assure you, there are.

Follow Diseye on Twitter @Diseye_

Meet Eyo

Eyo Alison Udeme is a UX Designer at TeamApt. Her job is to research what makes users have amazing experiences with products and ensure that these elements are present in their products. She’s an advocate for the customer which means that she makes sure that their products are easy to use, and meet the users’ expectations.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I am privileged to be representing women on this great day, and international women’s day is a celebration to acknowledge women around the world for the meaningful and priceless contributions we make to ensure that the world is a better place for all of us.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Start, put in the work, be patient, and don’t let self-doubt get in the way. There are days you’d be exhausted; remember why you started. It’s not going to be easy — nothing is, but it is worth it!

Follow Eyo on Twitter @alisoneyo

Meet Gloria

Gloria Ebube Elendu is the Learning Manager at Gradely. Her job entails developing, designing, supervising, and implementing all content-related resources with relation to their learning programs and user experience.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is the global day specially picked aside to simply honour and recognize all women around the world for all the irreplaceable contributions they make to society each day.

To me, it’s a day to celebrate the efforts of all women who have gone beyond, and those with us today to say that the world acknowledges their contributions socially, economically, politically, and culturally.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

My advice for women looking to start a career in Tech is simply to never let self-doubt get in the way of showing up and being the best you can ever be.

Follow Gloria on Instagram @_gloria_elendu

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Abah is the Head of Customer Experience at Bamboo. As the Head of Customer Experience at Bamboo, her job is to ensure that their customers are happy and that from start to finish, every touchpoint results in a good experience for them.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day means recognizing and applauding how far women have come but not forgetting the struggles we still face. It reminds me to continuously fight to be seen and heard fairly and to always be proud to be a woman.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Don’t hop on every craze that there is; you don’t have to learn things you have zero interest or passion in just because you want to be a ‘tech sis’. There are so many non-traditionally tech skills that are needed in the tech industry, so focus on what you are passionate about and on being the best at what you do. Speak up for yourself, blow your own trumpet, know what you deserve and ask for it, let people hear your ideas, take up space, contribute, lead.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter @TheJenniferAbah

Meet Jessica

Jessica O. Ojo is a data scientist at Okra. As a Data Scientist at Okra, she along with the rest of her team build products that model users’ financial behaviors using insights from financial data.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the resilience of women whose contributions and achievements opened the doors of the privileges I enjoy as a woman today.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

With smart work and consistency, you can do and thrive in whatever career you choose. Let your work speak for you!

Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaOJ_

Meet Khadijah

Khadijah Abu is the Head of Product Expansion at Paystack. She leads the team that is focused on getting more of their core products into more markets, finding product/market fit in each of them, and ultimately driving further retention and growth initiatives.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day set aside to acknowledge, celebrate and honor women for their achievements in today’s world. It’s also a day to be intentional about inspiring young girls, so the knowledge that they have a place in building the future is reinforced.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Start with the aspect that resonates the most with your innate strengths. Give yourself room to grow, learn and achieve mastery in your craft.

Follow Khadijah on Twitter @kdxxl

Meet Koromone

Koromone “KK” Koroye is the Managing and Acting Editor in Chief at TechCabal. As managing editor, she is responsible for managing the newsroom and a team of reporters, editors, and editorial assistants. Her other duties include managing newsroom operations, hiring and on-boarding staff reporters, representing the publication at events, assigning articles to reporters, and reviewing pitches and drafts.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to recognize women, past and present, who have played and are playing an important role in advancing our society and contributing to their spheres of influence and communities.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Start now. It’s not enough to be interested in working in tech; you also need to dive deep into the ecosystem and understand how it works and who it is serving.

Find a niche and stick to it. Technology moves very quickly, and most people get caught up in the whirlwind of change. Don’t be distracted — stay focused and grow in what you know.

Follow Koromone on Twitter @Koromone_K

Meet Mojolaade

Mojolaade Adegbite is a Product Designer at Patricia. She improves the user experience of the existing products she currently manages. She also creates and oversees the design processes of new products from start to finish. She collaborates with other Designers, Researchers, Devs, PMs, CS, Marketing, and Business teams to create a lasting digital solution. Above all, She ensures her team delivers products that are user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes with customer empathy and satisfaction as the key goal.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to acknowledge and honor every woman for their positive contribution to society. Great women are the reason young girls have role models that look like them, believe that they can actualize their dreams, and keep breaking barriers.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Don’t let your fears get the best of you. Make sure you’re passionate about the skill you want to acquire as this will fuel your determination to excel at it. Allow yourself to be teachable, don’t hesitate to get a mentor, ask a lot of questions, learn how to take critical feedback, and never stop acquiring knowledge.

Follow Mojolaade on Twitter @Jaydeecute

Meet Norah

Norah Ikoh is the Head of CX Operations at Kuda Microfinance Bank. She is responsible for end-to-end second-level support, driving processes, and operational efficiency on all customer-related requests that come in through any of the interaction channels managed by the Customer Experience team at Kuda.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International women’s day is a day set aside to celebrate our struggles and our wins. Women are special in every ramification of the word and it’s amazing to see how much we have evolved in society, all thanks to the great things that we’ve done and keep doing. Choosing a day to celebrate women doesn’t do justice to the positive changes and contributions we give back to society and the world at large. We need to continuously motivate and support each other as we strive to achieve success in our various establishments.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Find a good mentor, empower yourself by taking courses and joining tech webinars, never say never, and always be yourself.

Follow Norah on Twitter @jstnorah

Meet Okobi

Okobi Chinedum Ose aka Mercy is a Frontend Engineer at Bitsika. She translates software designs and ideas into reality using Frontend tools.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s day to me is a day where we have empowerment to equal rights, employment, pay rates, etc. We are responsible for promoting change and balancing our workplace or jobs.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

My advice to women is that our thoughts always matter even though we sometimes get pushbacks.

Follow Okobi on Twitter @mercy__o

Meet Olayemi

Olayemi Babarimisa is a Senior Communications Officer at 54gene. She works in the Public Affairs & Communications Department, where they ensure that they grow, protect, and sustain the reputation of 54gene among its key stakeholders. As a Senior Communications Officer in the team, she is responsible for co-managing the content creation process of their digital content and monitoring the online representation of the organization across all platforms. It is also her duty to ensure cohesiveness in their messaging on all digital platforms and in all digital storytelling activities.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, I believe International Women’s Day serves as a nudge for everyone to take a step back and acknowledge the tremendous contribution women across different races, social strata, industrial/economic sector, religion, etc, have made to the societies and communities they serve, especially when given little to work with.

It is also a moment for us women to celebrate our achievements in all areas of life, and to bask in our amazing ability to thrive regardless of the pushbacks we get due to our gender. As a matter of fact, every year, I always look forward to coming across inspiring and soul-lifting success stories of women during this season. I find them very refreshing to read because you’ll always find out that more often than not, these women fought tooth and nail for their current seat at the table, and for their voices to be heard.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Be clear about your career and personal goals, know your onions, be ready for interesting opportunities on how your acquired skills can be applied, be willing to learn, and be prepared to put in the work.

For instance, I started out as an MSc summer intern in 54gene, and when I realized the particular skill set required of a comms person at the company, I took courses in UX writing/design and product management (courses that were not on my radar prior) just to gain a better understanding of my deliverables and be better at my job. So far, it has been a very rewarding journey; the time, energy, and resources I have put into self-development are yielding results, and I will continue to go the extra mile by always learning and updating my knowledge base.

Follow Olayemi on Twitter @itsyemi_

Meet Omolara

Omolara Ajele Awoyemi is the Chief Operating Officer at Bumpa. She designs strategic efforts, operational processes, team and growth playbooks while supporting the team to execute efficiently.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, this day signifies the importance of continued advocacy towards eliminating bias of any capacity that limits women from reaching their full potential. Whether deliberate or unconscious, biases towards women surface in multiple spheres — in the workplace, in the home, and in different communities, making it difficult for women to move ahead. On March 8 every year, we come together as one voice to remind ourselves of how capable we are. We re-ignite our passion to use our strengths and voices to raise each other up via sisterhood and allyship.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Take a deep breath, step back and strategize. Connect with your strengths and find what tech sector/role/personality excites you the most. Once you figure this out, pursue it with confidence. Remember there’s no glory without pain, so keep striving towards the goal and use milestones to measure your growth and progress. Find your people, your tribe, your allies. You’ll need them to champion and encourage you along the way.

Follow Omolara on Instagram @laraawoyemi

Meet Oreoluwa

Oreoluwa Aremo is the Investor Community Associate at Future Africa. She is responsible for growing and managing comms for Future Africa’s community of investors, hosting events, digital sessions, collating and distributing content across all available verticals. Essentially, making sure that they are helping the community to prosper.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Firstly and most importantly, for me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and acknowledge women all over the world. I also see it as a day to truly reflect on the actions taken in the past year to empower more women and figure out ways to make more conversations around the opportunities we have to achieve our full potential and level the playing field.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

We are changing the narrative that to be called a woman in tech, you have to code or be in technical roles. So don’t be discouraged by this; continue to teach yourself, build your network and join a strong community of people with like minds.

Also, advocate for yourself and keep applying for roles you believe you will do well in, are passionate about, and are willing to grow in, even if you don’t think you qualify for them.

Follow Oreoluwa on Twitter @orearemo_

Meet Tejumade

Tejumade Adeyinka is the Head of Growth at Sendcash (Helicarrier). She is responsible for driving product and growth initiatives for Sendcash. Her Day-to-day looks like working with engineering, design, marketing, and customer success to achieve their product and business goals.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

While women’s issues are essential every day of the year, International Women’s Day calls explicitly for us (individuals & institutions) to deliberately introspect about the current state of these issues and re-commit to creating solutions for them.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

Pick something you’re interested in — any field at all; nothing is too out of reach. Find resources on the internet to gain the skills you need. Where possible, try to contribute to or build side projects as you learn. When you gain some confidence in your skills, apply to roles/internships that present good learning opportunities.

Lastly, publicly document your learnings. Write about some of the things you’re learning and the unique perspectives you’re gaining. It will help other beginners learn and also help signal your competence to potential employers.

Follow Teju on Twitter @TejuAdeyinka

Meet Tomilola

Tomilola Majekodunmi is the Co-founder/CEO of 5554 Technologies Ltd popularly known as BANKLY. Her job as the Co-founder/CEO of Bankly is to bring together a solid group of people and bind them together towards a common mission which is to improve the quality of life of Africans and other economically disadvantaged communities through financial inclusion

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to intentionally highlight and celebrate women and their amazing contributions to the world. A day to reflect on our progress, battles won, and highlight many more that needs to be done in the journey towards equity.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

My advice to any young lady hoping to start a career in tech is to shoot your shot. Seek out the roles and companies that interest you and reach out to them. Ask for internship opportunities if no full-time role is available…apprenticeship is a solid way to learn the ropes.

Follow Tomilola on Twitter @Msteebimbs

Meet Yarmirama

Yarmirama Grace Ashama is a Product Manager at Cowrywise. As a product manager at Cowrywise, her work revolves around working closely with different teams (design, engineering, growth, support, and sometimes third-party partners) to provide value to their users and to the business in line with their vision.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, it’s a reminder that we’re seen, we are powerful and we deserve some accolades. There was a time when I was uncomfortable being a woman cos at that time, I thought being a woman meant you were weak and inferior. My thinking has evolved and I am glad that in my lifetime, we are getting to really see and celebrate what it means to be a woman.

Advice for women looking to start a career in Tech?

You don’t have to be technical or know how to code to start a career in tech. You can evolve into being technical but don’t let that deter you from getting a head start with a career in tech. There’s room for you. Come on board!

Follow Yarmirama on Twitter @Yarmirama

It is worth noting that there are countless women in the African tech ecosystem constantly breaking the bias. We see you, we celebrate you and we appreciate you.

At Microtraction, we strongly stand behind the IWD’s mandate of a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We believe, that together, we can all break the bias, today and beyond.

Wishing every woman all over the world a Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at Microtraction

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