#IWD2021: 5 Women in Tech Challenging the Odds to Look Out for

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Despite the gender-specific barriers to making consistent impact in the tech sector, women have constantly challenged the odds and continued innovating. The likes of Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi, Temie Giwa-Tubosun and Odunayo Eweniyi easily come to mind because of continued innovation.

The International Women’s Day 2021 is themed #IchooseToChallenge. Besides the well-known women players in the tech sector, there are a lot of other ladies who are also challenging various odds and innovating in the tech sector. Meet 5 of these women here.

Clara Okoro – Founder, My Beautiful Africa

Clara Okoro-woman in tech
Clara Okoro

Clara is the female founder of My Beautiful Africa, a Traveltech startup that helps people experience the best of Africa using tech hardware and software. For Clara, the biggest challenge she has been faced with while innovating in the male-denominated space is getting funds for her business.

In response, she decided to seize as many opportunities that show up in her search for grants and funding. She is a member of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub’s Future Females Business School pilot program. Keeping with the theme of International Women’s day, Clara is choosing to challenge patriarchy.

“I choose to challenge the belief that some parts of tech are off-limits to women”

Clara Okoro

Temilade Adelakun – Co-organizer, Google Developer’s Group

Temilade Adelakun
Image source: Loisugbe.com

Temilade is an avid artificial intelligence enthusiast and a big advocate of more girls developing interests in STEM-related activities. She is the Learning Operations Manager for Student Build, an organization that makes school-to-work transition easier for African students. Temilade volunteers with Oreoluwa Lesi’s W.Tec and is the co-organizer of the Google Developer’s Group.

Her passion is to help more women and young girls learn how to code and go further in the tech space. She says, “when I am not reading engineering books, I spend my time volunteering as well as coding and improving my skills”.

Temilade is challenging the notion that young people cannot grasp STEM concepts.

Adaeze Akpagbula – Cofounder, FarmSpeak

Adaeze Akpagbula

Agriculture is not a sector that young people consider attractive in Nigeria, especially females. Adaeze Akpagbula is the co-founder of an agritech startup called FarmSpeak technology, which transforms farming through the use of data analytics, remote sensing and IoT technology.

She grew up on a poultry farm and at an early age, saw firsthand how lack of access to the right data could result in the death of so much livestock. Her experience led her to study more about agriculture and she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and environmental engineering from the University of Ibadan.

She has pitched FarmSpeak at various events including the FCMB Agritech EPIC pitch ’20 and the African Innovation Week 2020. Passionate about female entrepreneurs, Adaeze focuses on helping more female farmers who double as mothers, cooks, teachers etc to become more productive by using more technology.

In line with International Women’s Day, she is choosing to challenge the narrative of “It is a man’s world”.

It is our own world too and we can stay winning.

Adaeze Akpagbula

Frances Ukpokolo – Cofounder, Comestibles

Frances Ukpokolo
Frances Ukpokolo

Frances is the cofounder of Comestibles, a foodtech startup that helps different sets of people manage the food distribution chain. From farmers and restauranteurs to consumers, users are able to track the amount of food items being consumed and plan accordingly for demand and supply.

Frances is an Industrial Engineering graduate from the University of Ibadan and one challenge she is choosing to confront is not speaking up more and representing her startup enough.

“I have not explored being vocal and being on the forefront for my company enough. Women can be on the front foot more when it comes to securing investments and pitching the business. I will be doing more of that.”

Frances Ukpokolo

Finally, meet Ikram, a young lady who is not quite a woman yet but who is in tech.

Ikram Lawal – Software Developer

12-year old Ikram Lawal is a female software developer who majors on the front-end. On her personal website, she describes herself as “passionate and driven about my work, because it makes me happy to be able to solve problems with bunch of codes”.

Recently, she joined the Zuri Team, a talent training and outsourcing firm, as a software trainee in search of more knowledge in front-end web development.

She started coding at the age of 11 and has since gained knowledge in PHP, JavaScript, Bootstrap, HTML, CSS and Python. Last year, she was mentored by She Code Africa and received a lot of support from the Nigerian tech community. Ikram was a part of the JavaScript World Conference 2021 and was one of the speakers at the event.

Her 5-year goal list includes being one of the best kids in tech and bringing in more youngsters into the space. She is definitely one woman in tech to watch out for.


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