Ideally, it shouldn’t matter whether there’s a woman leading the WTO, a tech giant company, or even a nation. It shouldn’t even matter if a woman is in charge of operations or finance in a tech startup. What should matter in business is getting things done, rather than the gender of the executor.
One argument for diversity is that it is good for business. Lending credence to this fact is a World Economic Forum report which revealed that firms that increased their proportion of hiring female partners by 10% saw a 1.5% rise in overall fund returns each year and had 9.7% more profitable exits on average.
In this era of gender inclusiveness, African women are taking their seats at the leadership table. While the progress is not as rapid as desired in the continent, nonetheless, it’s a welcome development to see women gaining recognition for their contributions, particularly in the technology industry.
In a chat with techbuild.africa, Nkiru Amadi-Elena, Head of Eastern Operations (Nigeria) at Kobo360 stresses that “the African tech ecosystem is in need of more women to fill leadership positions and bring innovative ideas to life.”
Based on her experience, she also urges organizations to take practical steps by hiring more women and placing more women in leadership positions based on merit and not gender.
With a degree in Computer Science and Information Technology from Igbinedion University, Nigeria, Nkiru started her career in tech as an IT Consultant for INEC where she developed their data collection tool, logistics management & procurement system, and the compliance & threat data acquisition and sharing system.
Though it was later acquired by Kobo360, in 2017, she also founded a Nigerian-based tech startup called Jalo.ng which focused on the On-Demand Delivery Space after identifying some gaps in online retailing businesses.
Climbing up the corporate ladder from Enterprise Account Manager to the Head of Eastern Operations at Kobo360, she explains that she oversees the operations and business activities in the region.
I also manage the logistics operations of all key clients, identify and develop new business opportunities while ensuring profitability, and finally managing overall operations of the region and team members, she adds.
Many women in the tech space today venture into it mainly because of their fascination with the ever-changing technology landscape and Nkiru is no exception. Judging by her background in Software Development, she reveals that she had always wanted to be a part of the change and growth in Africa’s tech ecosystem.
She acknowledges that though there is still some unconscious bias mostly from people who still don’t believe that women work in technology in Africa, she’s had to make the extra effort to upskill and to position herself such that her strengths will be noticed and equally rewarded. Certainly a bit of good advice to other women working operating in the tech space.
On the subject of more female representation in tech, she advises that “more women in leadership positions should take younger women under their wings, mentor them and teach them how to stand out in their various careers.
On the other hand, women considering careers in technology should be open to learning and seek out mentors- women who are in leadership roles that can provide great tips and advice on their growth process.”
Organizations are not left out of this equation whatsoever. She says they also have to take note of unconscious gender bias and educate their staff on the disadvantages.
The tech industry is rapidly expanding. As such, more emphasis should be placed on promoting diversity in the workplace. In a period of constant changes, organizations that prioritize a diverse and inclusive culture will be better positioned to address the problems of the future.
Featured Image: Nkiru Amadi_Emina, Head of Eastern Operations, Kobo360
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