Isn’t it ironic knowing that women have a long history in the tech space, yet it’s taken them years to get a seat at the big boys’ table? Today, innovative women across the globe are changing this narrative.
These are exciting times for the African continent as African women in tech are impacting the continent as well as inspiring younger generations.
They continue to raise their voices to make the ecosystem more inclusive, giving women a chance to be innovative problem solvers.
In the past few years, several women who run or work at tech companies have collated a wealth of experience, tips, and advice on how women can overcome challenges, navigate the male-dominated tech industry, and how they should view their own potential.
To that end, we’ve rounded up 5 must-read books for our awesome African women in tech.
Include these award-winning books to your reading list of tech news, opinions, career and leadership advice, and solidarity from women like you.
The following five books, by Sarah Lacey, Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack, Cara Alwill Leyba, Margot Lee Shetterly, and Susanne Tedrick, not only unveil the truth about women in tech but forge a path forward toward a non-discriminatory and less toxic future for women.
‘A Uterus Is a Feature Not a Bug’ by Sarah Lacy
In A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman’s Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy, Lacy reveals the stigmas working moms face, and the unfair stereotypes placed on them.
As a mother herself, the author argues that mothers in tech are no less capable than their male or childless counterparts.
Backing up her argument, she contrasts data on the contributions women make with statistics on the disadvantages they face in getting jobs and/or promotions at their workplace.
A recurring theme in the book is the need for women to revise their perceptions of what it means to be a career mom.
‘Women in Tech’ by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack is both an entrepreneur and a cybersecurity researcher.
In her anthology of Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories, she treats a range of topics offering workable suggestions to women passionate about the tech field or advance within it.
She collects experiences from various successful women in tech such as Brianna Wu, Keren Elazari, Miah Johnson, Kamilah Taylor, and more; Revealing how they overcame obstacles.
‘Girl Code’ by Cara Alwill Leyba
If you’re a female with a passion for entrepreneurship, Girl Code is your book, whether you want to support a side hustle or create the next tech empire.
Alwill Leyba’s Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur, is all about women constituting a solid support system for one another.
Although the tech ecosystem breeds fierce competition for funding or jobs, women can reach greater lengths when they help each other succeed, she posits.
She maintains that when you let other women see your weaknesses rather than your perfect image, it fosters empathy.
It enables other women to view success as achievable as they’ll be able to discuss mistakes and fears with one another.
Whether you have salaried jobs in tech, run companies of your own, or otherwise, Alwill Leyba, through her book, seeks to help women to be more confident, be motivated and understand the mutual power of connections and cooperation among women.
‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly
For occasional movie-lovers, “Hidden Figures” which premiered in 2016 was adapted from the book bearing the same title.
The book reveals that the under-representation and under-appreciation of women in tech is not a recent development.
In Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Shetterly chronicles the story of three black female mathematicians and engineers at NASA in the mid-20th century.
By telling the stories of these women, Shetterly gives them long-delayed credit for being integral in one of the greatest feats ever achieved by humans.
As a female, if you’re doubtful about pursuing a career in STEM, this book is for you.
Women of Color in Tech by Susanne Tedrick
If you’re a newbie in the tech industry or pushing to get ahead, you need to read Tedrick’s Women of Color: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators.
She shares valuable insights that will enable you to develop the tools and mindset you need to thrive.
According to her, having the right guidance and support can help you to overcome the challenges facing women of colour in tech.
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