There is an uneven distribution of women in the tech space, especially in the rural and grassroot areas. This has resulted in many women who make up the rural and grassroot businesses to lack the needed opportunities to scale.
Moreover, many factors constitute obstacles to the seamless acquisition of tech skills by women. These factors include confusions in selecting which tech skill to acquire, Lack of information and exposure to tech programmes, and limited communities who assist women in acquiring Tech skills. Others are the lack of adequate sensitisation in rural areas for women to get involved in tech as well as the lack of motivations.
Theses and many other issues informed the discuss at one of the 2022 tech hub activation series hosted by Techuncode in partnership with 360Creative Hub.
The hub activations were precursor to the Lags state Economic summit, usually called Ehingbeti summit which takes place on the 11th and 12th of September, 2022.
Discussions were held around the theme “Raising Empowered Women In Lagos With Advanced Tech Skills”
Present at the events were female tech influencers who have been impacting their communities positively with their tech empowerments.
Among them were Dr Itoro Emembolu, Director, TechQuest STEM Academy; Nkem Okocha, Founder Mamamoni and IreAyomide Oladunjoye, Head, Startups (Lagos Innovates).
Also at the event which had over 100 physical and virtual attendees was Blessing E. Achu, MD 360Creative hub, who moderated the discuss.
Dissecting the theme along the obstacles hindering women from being empowered with advanced tech, the experts highlighted the need for women to be motivated and trained in using tech to better their lives. They however, gave recommendations on how women can be empowered with advanced tech.
According to them, there should be more programs like the Techuncode’s hub activations to create more awareness, trainings and provide opportunities which women can tap into and be empowered.
Speaking, Dr Itoro said that in trying to acquire a skill, young women need to make the right choices. This is because, females, including anyone, who wants to learn new tech skills must determine what his or her learning abilities can accommodate.
“What tech skills are you lacking but think is relevant to your needs? How do you intend to use the skill you want to learn?”
Also, she said that women need to ascertain what they believe they can achieve with the talent and the opportunities the skill will presents them. Once all these have been answered, they get clarity on the right Tech skill to learn and also discover training and opportunities that provide these skills[ to them.
The experts noted that tech hub activations help women ascertain and decide the right choices when picking a tech skill to learn.
Equally speaking, Mrs. Nkem Okocha said small businesses should be engaged more by tech organizations for small-scale business owners who are mostly women, to individuals can realize how Tech can be efficient in their business.
She added saying that the state has several grassroot programs developed to help women. So, people should align and embrace the programs.
The two experts said governments need to ensure that tech programs are properly advertised and placed on the right platforms to reach women.
Among the programmes to create awareness for women empowerment through advanced tech include radio jingles, in local dialects and local sensitization on the importance of Tech.
According to the experts, women already playing in the Tech industry should be celebrated and encouraged. They should be placed on platforms like The Ehingbeti to speak about their success stories and journey.
According to experts, these women can serve as role models for prospective players in the Tech field.
Dr Itoro, speaks:
She said that tech skills are skills that we need to learn.
According to her, this makes life easier and stress-free.
She lamented that people, especially, women who make use of their mobile devices greatly sadly do not utilise 20% of the functionalities of their phones to their empowerment.
Consequently, there is a need for more people to be enlightened about technology, even as little as using their phones.
Also, she said that technology can help rural or grassroot women upscale their businesses.
She said one of the things to consider to upscale your business through tech is to consider what you want to achieve and then look for the technology to achieve those goals
And this is why people need to understand the importance of tech.
Itoro adds that one of the biggest challenges to technology adoption is access.
She said people don’t have access to the kind of technology they need.
In her words “when you can solve the access problem, you have solved 40% of the problem of getting into technology.”
Another problem she identified regarding tech adoption is the fear of the unknown.
She said that women need to tell their stories enough.
When these women who are afraid sees other people’s stories, they would want to embrace them.
She starts by giving light to all that her organisation has been doing in serving the underserved community.
According to her, they have been maximizing simple tech tools to teach underserved women.
This is one way she has been contributing to empowering more women in technology.
In her words “YouTube is one of the best things that has ever happened to the world.”
She said more people should be able to maximize the resources available
She reiterates that many women shy away from technology for the fear of it being a male-coded industry.
Representing the government at the panel, she said that the government is doing a lot to demystify technology in the state
Also, she adds that technology is an enabler.
And this is one of the things that the Covid 19 period has taught us.
Also, technology is something that everyone needs to embrace.
In her words “businesses that don’t use technology will suffer a lot.”
Speaking about demystifying some perspectives about technology.
She quotes that innovation is not only technology.
Also, she adds that we need to continue to expose people to technology and why they need to use it
According to her, “Lagos state is the tech capital of Nigeria”
Also, she said so many layers of collaboration need to take place so we can take on board all the technologies.
She also speaks on how we might need technology to make life easier but there are no infrastructures in place for those technologies.
An example of a technology that fits into this is the self-driving car.
Ultimately, women in the grassroots greatly need empowerment and tech is one of the surest ways of ensuring that they break free from the various barriers hindering them. Meanwhile, since the world is advancing greatly in tech, it is equally imperative that women too get empowered with advanced tech skills.
About 360 Creative
360 Hub is a creative and collaborative co-working space dedicated to the fashion industry. The collective space provides a platform for brands and fashion-focused creatives to come together to work, collaborate, converse, and ultimately achieve their dreams by offering them mentoring, management, investment and equipment support.