Gender equality and increasing the number of women in leadership roles are trending topics. Given the right amount of support, the emergence of female leaders can become a centrifugal force for good in our world.
In recent times, we’re seeing examples of women leaders rising from across the generations to cross-weave their expertise and spearhead innovation and change.
With technology being all-pervasive, the ‘traditional’ sector lines are becoming indistinct such that organizations that cling to the old structures will find themselves not only overtaken, but left in the dust.
In the spirit of the upcoming International Women’s Day celebration on March 8, 2021, we would be featuring some of Africa’s women in tech during the course of this month.
Our guest for this week’s edition is Rolake Rosiji, CEO of Jobberman, Nigeria’s largest digital training, and recruitment platform.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Rolake Rosiji, I am currently the CEO of Jobberman Nigeria and helping solve some big problems in Nigeria like addressing employment gaps in fast-growing sectors like digital, creative, banking and financial services, and manufacturing.
At Jobberman, our core services are recruitment, training, and assessments. We empower job seekers to find the right jobs and make life easier for employers’ recruiting by identifying and selecting the right candidates.
We also provide HR consulting, like salary surveys and succession planning, and manage large-scale program management with government and multinationals such as the Mastercard Foundation program to place 3 million Nigerians in dignified employment by 2025 and the development and management of the Enugu State government Jobs portal.
I came to Jobberman after spending two years as the Country Manager at M-KOPA Nigeria leading the technology and sales operations for credit financed smartphones and solar power sets. Prior to that, I was Head of Strategy at Arla Foods Africa, managing large-scale expansion projects across West Africa.
I have a Masters Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics, a Business Administration and Management Certificate from Stanford Business School, and a BA Hons in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Durham University.
I love going to the beach and I host a podcast about pop culture in my spare time.
How did you begin your career in tech?
I was headhunted by M-KOPA two and a half years ago to lead their Nigeria business. I was attracted to the business because of its ability to use payments technology, solar technology, and IoT to reach millions of customers with a credit finance product. That’s where my interest in Tech started.
Did your background contribute to your decision to choose a career in technology? If so, how?
I would not say it did directly, but I have been attracted to companies and roles that have a positive impact on society. I find the innovation behind tech-driven companies and their ability to solve, sometimes very acute problems inspiring.
Working in a space where you can see the impact and working on new innovative solutions gives me great job satisfaction.
As a woman in tech, what difficulties have you encountered along your career journey?
It is a male-dominated industry and that does take up space in your mind in some form. Personally, it forced me to be more assertive, be comfortable being the only female voice and push for more equality.
I also have learned over the years that a woman’s presence in this ecosystem for the immediate future, will include advocating for change.
In your opinion, what can be done to increase female representation in tech?
We can start by working with what we have; there are many women currently working in tech in different capacities.
Creating awareness about who they are and what they do will entice more to join the industry, as well as various types of outreach programs targeted towards young girls and women that will help to develop skills and provide career pathways into tech.
What advice would you give to young women who wish to consider a future in tech?
I would definitely say go for it. It’s the future of jobs. Ensure you have the right skills to start your career and keep training throughout, as tech progresses so fast. It covers every industry from creative to agriculture, so you can find your niche and really thrive.
Featured Image: Rolake Rosiji, CEO, Jobberman
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