Despite significant growth, in the number of women working in technology and IT role, female representation in the sector has stalled over several years. The gender issue in technology, no doubt needs to be tackled.
I, recently, had a chat with Uzondu Uba, Communications Manager, Semicolon, on Tech Trends show, on Channels Television and she talks on what we can do, to increase the number of women in technology and lots more.
CFA: What challenges do women in tech face in Nigeria today?
Uzondu: Obviously, the typical challenge is that, there are other factors that, women who are interested in coming to the tech ecosystem and there are other factors that, restrict women, who are, already, in the tech ecosystem, but they find it difficult to push, career-wise, to grow, career-wise and to express themselves in that ecosystem.
A good example, would be, say, Amina, from Kaduna, that is, really, passionate about coming Lagos and probably, learn how to program, but she is restricted. She won’t be able to make the journey rom Kaduna to Lagos because she is single, or, her religion does not permit it, or her parents won’t accept that huge transition. What does she do? She stays back in Kaduna and she thinks of what to do, at the end of the day.
On the flip side, it could be Joy, in Lagos, but she is a mother of two and she is already working, she’s trying to find the balance; the work/life balance. How does she pick up her kid, after school? Hoe does she make sure that, they are well attended to. How does she balance her passion for tech with her responsibilities, as a Mum? Those are examples of the challenges that women in tech face,
CFA: Now, would you recommend certain kinds of policies that, will help address some of these challenges?
Uzondu: I think that organisations should start recognizing that, these are challenges. First of all, all the challenges have to be identified, then, of course, we have to create awareness for these challenges. We also, need to start proffering sustainable solutions, to each of the challenges. For example, the case of Amina from Kaduna, what if, an organisation, that prides itself, in teaching people how to code, having programmers, comes out with an accommodation structure for ladies, that wants to make the move, from one State, to another.
On the other hand, as well, for mothers that have kids, you know they want to work out a work/life balance, It’s not so much of a hassle to find a way, to create a creche in the building, on the ground floor, so that, Joy from Lagos, can just dash out and pick up her two kids and keep them downstairs. There’s surveillance, there’s security and she know that, okay, yeah, my kids are safe; and she can go ahead with her work.
You can watch the full interview here