IWD: Young Women Driving Tech
Words By – Temitope Ojo
Last Wednesday, International Womens Day, IWD, was globally celebrated with the theme, DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. Like any United Nations Day, it was focused on highlighting issues about the theme; this time women in Tech, and how to bridge the gap.
Although many women and girls shy away from tech, over the years, tremendous progress in the quest for gender equality in a sector that is male-dominated.
In celebration of the IWD and women’s month, we feature today, six young Nigerian women who have made their mark in this sector and have, helped to lift more women into the field.
Excellence Anurika Joshua
Excellence Anurika Joshua is a Digital Skills Expert, a Pan-Africa Social Entrepreneur, and a blooming African development expert who has trained and created job opportunities for over 7000 young African girls, women and youth in the Technology Space across Africa since 2019, through her foundation, Techy Train Incubator.
By empowering women with digital tools, she hopes they will work their way out of poverty, care for their families and strengthen their communities.
A World Bank Fellow, and winner of the AGS survivor-woman award, she won the Wrapper Initiative award by Erelu Bisi Fayemi in 2020.
She is an alumna of the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan Atlantic University; an alumna of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs and a member of the International Association of Professional Social Media Consultants (IAPO).
Alero Thompson is the Founder of Blue Sands Academy and the Team Leader of the Tech Fingers Project.
She uses her skills in tech to empower women and girls and catalyze innovative community development activities that will supercharge the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Alero is an alumnus of the Impact Investors Foundation program for the Investment Readiness Program; an alumnus of the Donors For Africa Social Innovators program now GEDA, and an Obama Africa Leader fellow that met with. She has been featured in Time Square Towers in New York for her immense impact on the lives of young girls. She also won the Women in STEM Awards, the National Education Ambassador of The Year Award and the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship award.
She received the Female Achiever award from the United States Consulate in Lagos, for her impact on the lives of women and girls.
Her aim is to train 1,500 girls in ICT yearly from low-income communities in Lagos State in the next 5 years.
Aishat Ronke Adeniji
Aishat Ronke Adeniji is the founder and chief executive officer Healthport, a company focused on improving access to reliable and affordable respiratory care in Sub-saharan Africa. She is a Clinician with over 15 years of direct patient care in Fortune 100 companies and experience working with Early to Mid Stage US/Global Health Tech startups. HealthPort is a fast-growing health-tech startup changing how medical oxygen is sourced and distributed at the last mile.
With a mission to challenge how healthcare is delivered to vulnerable populations by patients at the centre. The patient-centric digitized Oxygen Service solution gives hospitals access to reliable medical oxygen, using sustainably powered modular oxygen devices installed near-site or onsite. To improve oxygen access, HealthPor targets infrastructure readiness, knowledge gaps, and cost barriers through multifaceted health system integration. As a result, partner hospitals access critical medical resources that promptly reduce oxygen-related mortality while improving clinician productivity and patient outcomes.
The vision is a world where everyone can breathe easily. Aisha is a 2022 MIT Solver who has consulted with multiple global health companies implementing solutions in Africa, including the UNICEF Innovation lab.
Bisola Alabi is the CEO of Heels and Tech, a brand of The Learning Core Company, which offers Training and Mentorship on in-demand technical roles by connecting women with Industry professionals. A graduate of economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bisola founded Heels and Tech to acquire technical skills so they could earn more.
The company serves as a link between women and experienced technical instructors, giving them a variety of opportunities for acquiring knowledge and skills that will support their professional advancement or transition.
Since its modest start as a community focused on empowering women, the IT company has helped over 100 women in securing tech positions in top firms around the world.
Heels and Tech help to create a future for women in the job market through re-skilling.
To bridge the gap in the IT industry, which appears to be male-dominated, especially in third-world countries like Nigeria, Bisola advocates that women, just like men, deserve to be given equal growth opportunities to thrive.
Maureen Chioma Omolaye (nee Onwukike) is a graduate of Marketing from Ebonyi State University.
Born into an average family, growing up, she never knew that girls could thrive in Tech. After fulfilling her passion for media and advertising, she fell in love with Big Data and pursued her newfound love.
Now, she’s all teched up with a good number of skills in tech like Machine Learning, App development, Robotics, process automation, Data mining, Artificial Intelligence, and many more.
Having noticed that there were not enough people available to mentor the younger generation, she gave up her dreams of working for Global tech companies to pursue the adoption of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Primary and Secondary schools, and with parents.
A member of the Electronic Media Content Association of Nigeria, she is the Founder of STEM production Limited, the producers of The Pioneer STEM TV Show, a show that showcases innovations and personalities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Fields.
Chioma’s advice for women in tech, a sector which perhaps seems male-dominated, is never to ignore the men folks as they are always available to teach than women. Also, she encourages women not to stop learning as tech is practical.
She is an unapologetic foodie, even though she doesn’t have a best food.
When not busy with work, Chioma likes to relax in a resort, by the beach with lots of trees, and animals that don’t bite. She also enjoys going out with her family.
Augusta is the founder of Pearl Essence Africa, a non-profit organisation that encourages innovation and creativity in young girls through technology and character building.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Benin, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management from the Global Institute of Project Management, Sri Lanka. She is also a chartered member of the Global Institute of Project Management.
Her passion for transforming the lives of young girls birthed Tech for girls Africa, a movement that leverages technology to transform lives and provides training and opportunities for young girls of African descent, who have been in unforetold circumstances such as teenage pregnancies. These young girls are trained with ICT skills such as robotics, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence, as well as employability skills. Using these platforms, Augusta Ohali has brought social empowerment to girls in different countries across Africa such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda. Her accomplishments, adeptness and capacity have been recognized by governments in different countries.