As career choices have shifted from the likes of medicine and law to modern technology options, the tech industry in Nigeria is on the rise. In recent times, the multi-million Naira industry is sought after by young people in Nigeria since the industry is flexible and very lucrative. Like all sectors, the representation of women is low in the Tech industry. Arewa women are not active because they believe tech jobs are meant for men.
The Tech industry is made up of various programmers, cyber security experts and user interface and experience designers, amongst many other computer and technology experts.
Speaking with Document women, some Arewa women describe what it’s like to work in the tech space
“I was told it’s a male-dominated field and I wouldn’t be noticed in that career. I was also told that programming is not for girls.
It has been an amazing journey so far. Gaining experience and transitioning from web development to Data Science. I have mentored so many people who are now doing great in the tech industry.”
Fatima is a programmer from Katsina State who decided to study computer science in the university after watching her brothers play video games and nursing with a passion and fascination for technology. She served as a programmes manager for the first data science fellowship programme in Kaduna and has trained over 100 women from rural communities in digital literacy. Ms Tafoki is currently leading/ mentoring young people in the tech ecosystem.
“I didn’t get enough resources and tools at the early stage of my career. There wasn’t much encouragement, but the journey so far has been great, in tech every challenge you face is an opportunity for you to do better.”
“I stumbled into tech by accident. I had a deficiency in English when I was supposed to study International Relations at the point of admission (2002). I had to do a change of course, unfortunately, or fortunately for me, the course was changed to Maths/Computer,” she tells Document Women, “It took me a while to accept this sudden change in my future career.
I worked twice as hard to meet up with the pace & understanding, coming from an art background.”
Salome is a software developer from Kaduna state.
“I hope to change the mentality of painting a particular field or course of study to be gender-based especially Tech. Many believe coding is for men while digital marketing is for women, why? Any gender can become whatever they set their minds upon to do. It is time we look beyond gender and look at the capability of an individual, what the individual has to offer, and the skills on the table.”
She says male counterparts are sometimes one of the obstacles and most times people don’t believe in her skills because she is a woman.
“Some of my challenges have been failure to meet deadlines due to family responsibilities making extra efforts to make yourself relevant to the tech community. Some of my achievements have been giving purpose to me. This mentorship is only possible through some meet-ups and Tech Communities”
As the world continues to expand and evolve, so does technology. The wealth creation opportunities are vast in tech and women like Ms Tafoki and Ms Danjuma are just a few women who have been open to risks. This should serve as motivation for more Arewa women.