#TechnextXNigerianWomen: Women in Tech panel calls for the eradication of gender bias

Dennis Da-ala Mirilla
Women called for the eradication of gender bias in tech | The panel said more women in engineering are needed in the space | Women should network and have mentors.

At the Women in Tech Twitter Spaces conversation hosted by Technext yesterday, March 15, tagged “Slaying as a Queen and More in Tech”, Speakers spoke about their experiences as women working in the Nigerian tech space and the steps needed for women to achieve breakthroughs in their careers.

The conversation is part of Technext’s ongoing celebration of women all through this month of March.


Moderated by feminist and software engineer, Sugarbelly, the panellists included:

Susan Ikegwu
Role: Growth Marketing
Company; QuickCheck

Chinwendu Ohakpougwu
Role: Head, Corporate Communications
Company: DLM Capital Group

Joy Ajike
Role: Head, Branding and Storytelling
Company: CashBox

Panellists called for a closure of the gender pay disparity in the tech space, making it so that women and men engineers in the same position, doing the same jobs, are not paid equally. The men are being paid more.

“The issue with the gender pay gap is not that women are not being paid as much as men, but that women are not even getting to the level of men,” Chinwendu Ohakpougwu said on the issue.

They also called for the encouragement of women to pursue more hard lifting career paths in the tech space, which men dominate. “You don’t find a lot of women doing serious work in tech,” Ohakpougwu said.

Speaking on the pattern of women being pushed to marketing and communications divisions predominantly in the tech space, the panellists said a system has created a pattern of employing predominantly women in those roles and men as engineers, which are roles that tend to pay more.

“When you go for an interview, even as a coder…they go for the man. Women are not encouraged,” Joy Ajike added on the issue.

“Men had told me if I enter the tech space, I will end up in computer village.”

Joy Ajike

Ajike now works at CashBox.

Ajike also added that prejudices against women in the space should be tackled from the roots, saying that it inhibits opportunities for women in tech.

“The prejudice doesn’t just come from men…It comes from our fellow women…It limits the opportunity that women can actually get.”

Susan Ikegwu called for more women to make the move and join the space. “Just get started no matter how that looks,” she said. She also wants women to know that the night can be long and women must pull themselves by the bootstrap if they want to succeed.

“Look at resources,…YouTube is like a university,…There is a whole lot of resources online…And start shooting your shot at companies…Let them know what you want to do. Get your hands really dirty,” she said adding that “It is always great to start with an internship in the Tech space” she said.

Ohakpougwu added that mentorship is also key to attaining breakthroughs in the space. She called on women to learn from people they find inspiring in the space and network. “Understudy them and find out what they did to get to where they are,” she said.

Listen to the full recording of the panel below:

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