Women Setting the Pace in Technology by Amanda Obidike

Automatic Summary

Women Setting the Pace in Technology: Go Big or Go Home

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey of exploring how women around the world are setting the pace in technology realms. We're not just exploring tech, but we're transferring this momentum to business, NGOs, engineering, research, and sciences too.

The ‘Go Big or Go Home’ Philosophy

Often, Go Big or Go Home philosophy is that nudge that drives us to excel, surmount hurdles, tackle challenges, and put in all-out effort. This approach is pivotal in pushing beyond boundaries, whether in tech or other professional spaces.

Self-Development for Women

A crucial factor for women in tech and other male-dominated fields is self-development. Achieving growth requires time invested in daily learning. It's about enriching your mind and body to be better versions of their selves every day in an ever-evolving world.

Brand You – Make Your Mark!

Another aspect worth spotlighting is Personal Branding. They say, "Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room." Women need to create a unique and distinct professional identity. It's all about crafting a lasting impression.

The Power of Networking

Networking is a major force that should not be underestimated. Women networks, like Women Tech, carve out platforms for women from different workspaces globally to learn, inspire, and grow. It's a tool for personal and collective growth; a means of giving and taking in equal measure.

Mentoring Matters

Put simply, mentorship is pivotal. It's not just about seeking guidance from recognized industry leaders, but also a stage for peer-to-peer mentoring. Women can inspire, encourage, give feedback, and grow together, holding each other accountable for their goals.

The Art of Journaling

Keeping a journal is not just an exercise in self-hood, but a synergetic tool for accountability. Journaling needn’t be only about victories; it's also a place to document challenges, learnings, and steps to reach outlined career goals.

Maneuvering the Male-Dominated Workplaces

Studies suggest men are more likely than women to strive for job opportunities and promotions, often due to a lack of confidence among women. Overcoming this requires a shift towards risk-taking and fearlessness. Remember, failure is not the end, but a stepping stone to learn bigger and do better.

Summing Up

This journey—of women setting the pace in technology—has many faces from different nations and contexts. Regardless of the underrepresentation, we're making strides to be bold, tenacious, strive for excellence, and seize the opportunities that come our way.

Thank you all for joining this conversation and contributing to these efforts of progress. I invite you to connect, collaborate, and keep this conversation ongoing. Remember, Go Big or Go Home!

Stay motivated and keep striving to be better every day. The world is waiting to hear your story.

Video Transcription

Thank you so much for that support. Yes. Uh So this is what uh we're gonna be talking about today. Go big or go home as a way of women setting the pace in technology.I want to believe that uh we have a wonderful and dynamic uh space of women here, not just only around technology, but also around business, setting up NGO S engineering, research, science and so on. So, uh the reason why I use this, go big or go home is um go big or go home is actually a philosophy that encourages us to excel. So we see hurdles, we see challenges, but it's just about going all out and putting that effort. So uh here on this vision board, I'll be taking it bit by bit and I will try to see how to make sure that it's a very, very realistic example that I'm sharing. Uh You can see on this vision board where a woman is uh you know, with um a, a water jar that's, you know, and she's pouring that water to uh uh nourish where she's standing. Uh That's actually self development. Uh A lot of times we have seen or we have heard how women find it very difficult to excel in male dominated uh fields.

Uh One of the things that I have seen that work uh in the, in today's setting, giving myself as an example is uh if you really have read about my bio, you will see that I never had any background in technology, but it was just about taking out a day, uh taking out some time in a day to see how I can learn or what, you know, you can d um differentiate what I have what I am now to what, where I want to be.

So uh this self development is talking about mind and body. We need to ask ourselves, what are the things that we are taking into ourselves or we are learning every day that can make us be better persons. So we see these challenges. How are we able to detoxify or separate ourselves from what the world is saying or from what our environment is and still excel? So uh self development plays a great role in women setting their pace, uh jumping through the hurdles and the challenges and creating a niche for themselves. Then the second one I would like to talk about is brand. So um I've grown to understand that as women, we should be a brand. Uh when people hear our name, for instance, what should they identify us with? So if, for example, we are talking about 10 women that are excelling in data science or that are excelling in cloud computing in a part particular space or in a particular community, would you like to count yourself as one of them? So these are things that we need to look at and say apart from uh jumping this hurdle or breaking through, what can we leave as a lasting statement for ourselves? So, uh brand, I would like to say that brand is created a unique name and image for yourself.

Uh You should also look at what is a unique and distinct impression. So for example, I meet you for the first time we get talking. Uh what can I remember about you? Maybe if we leave and the next day, I'm trying to like recall your name and or how best do I describe you? Uh These are things that we need to look at as women. Then the third one is uh different types of network uh networking. For example, women tech net is doing amazing women tech, just like we have this uh conference where we have different women coming from different spaces across different parts of the world. The whole idea is not just coming to learn from uh from these speakers, but it's also trying to see how you can form quality spaces around it. Uh For me, for example, I have different kinds of network, there are networks that I draw inspiration from. For example, there are networks that I used to learn, there are networks of mentors, there are also networks of mentees. So it depends on how you try to cultivate and use that network to form something for yourself. And um I also want it to be like a very reflective kind of networking because oftentimes when people reach out to you for to connect with you is because they want to learn something from you or they want to gain something from you.

I also iii I am a good person of, I believe in uh uh networking, but I also believe in what can I also give to that person. So even if I'm connecting to that somebody for a purpose, I should be also, I should also be able to give something in return that way. You are not just only sapping from them, but they should also have uh or um remember you for something that you were willing to give. Then another one I would like to mention is mentoring. Uh mentoring cannot be overemphasized. Uh mentoring. A lot of times, we also, we believe that mentoring is a like mentor to mentee. Uh But uh these days, I believe in peer to peer mentoring. I believe that uh women, you know, we should inspire ourselves. For example, we should be able to cultivate, we should be able to come together, we should be able to give ourselves feedback, whether um a negative feedback or a positive feedback, but just something that we can do better in. So when we hear mentoring, I don't want us to have that perception that it's just about you pouring to uh uh maybe the younger generation or maybe uh small girls.

I also want you to believe that you can mentor yourselves like as friends where you come together, you draw inspiration from, like I said, and um also see how you can grow together. So it's about holding yourself accountable. So, in this mentoring, I mentioned like your goals is something that you can come together, outline your goals and see, yes, even if it's not mutual goals, but this person is helping to keep tab for you is helping to draw and also helping you to translate your story. Often times we are just uh you know, clogged up with ourselves. The whole idea of having this peer to peer mentoring is for someone to be like a shoulder that you can lean on. And uh mentoring will now lead me to uh this other um uh image of Joline you see on this uh vision board, a woman writing. Uh a lot of times we women don't know how to tell our story. That's because we don't keep tab of our successes. We don't keep tab of our challenges. We don't keep tab of certain things that we have learned. But, you know, as a way of documenting them, that way you can have a better reflection. I would like to encourage to, you know, start uh cultivating the habit of journaling, write your stories. It must not just be about your wins, but it could be about what are the things you have learned. So you, you had an experience today.

Uh How were you able to hold through all even if you didn't HLE through? Well, what can you do better the next time in case of any situation that can clog up? So I would like to encourage us to journal, journal, uh talk about anything, talk about what you've learned, talk about what you are willing to, to do. And also uh journaling, I would like to add that journaling has a way of who uh making us accountable. So when I say accountable, I mean, um it's not like you're writing a diary, maybe like on your daily, well, what your daily day to day activity is, but it's also a way of outlining what your goals are. What do you aim to achieve at a particular period? Who can I reach out to? What have I learned? And how can that learning impact? Um a fellow of mine or a friend of mine or a colleague of mine, the journal, I would like to use the word that you let your journal be your Bible where it's not just about you reading through, but it's also about you pouring in. Then uh I will close with this uh study survey where it talks about uh men likely to position themselves for job opportunities and promotion than women. So, in the study, uh they said that men apply for jobs when they see that they have that 60% qualification.

Why are women who feel more confident if they meet 100%? You ask yourself why that is happening? The it's clear, it's not because the woman, it uh um uh cannot do it. But oftentimes women don't feel confident uh into taking that step. I would like to encourage us to uh be free to dream, be free to excel. If you see an opportunity and you love it, please take that opportunity. You must, after all, there's nothing to lose. If for example, you make taking that application or you take that step and you're not called on, it's also a learning curve. It's something that you can learn to do better. I'll give you an instance uh uh some years ago when I finished from the university, you know, you have to write CV S to different organizations hoping that they call you in uh last year. I was just going through my boxes. I needed to like take out a lot of papers. And then I went through the CV S that, you know, I wrote when I finished from the university and I was so shocked because I read through it and I was just laughing, I was laughing because I said, wow, I've really learned a lot because I, I told myself that if I was to be an employer, I would not employ myself because the CV was not written with experience.

It was not written with a lot of professionalism. I'm giving this instance because every day there is always something to learn, there is always something to weed out from yourself. There's always something to add and modify just to make yourself better. So, um I will stop sharing my screen now. I'm trusting that. Um OK. Yes. So uh I just, you know, I would love an opportunity for us to uh share our thoughts or any questions that we may have. But the long and short story of, you know why I said um this particular theme on saying women setting the pace in technology is uh I'm coming from uh I'm, I'm in Nigeria and I'm coming from Africa, apart from women being underrepresented, I've also seen women being underrepresented in other parts of the world.

But um I would also like to let you know that uh there is nothing wrong in shrine. Be bold, be tenacious. Uh go big or go home. So, uh yes, I would take any questions that you may have. Yes. Thank you so much, Ruth. Thank you, Jude. Thank you, Sarah. Any questions? OK. So I put in, yes. So I put in um a um a poll, please. I would like you to respond to the poll. I just want to know how um like what our experiences are in the workplace. Uh What kind of challenges may you face? You may not necessarily need to say, but I just want to rate our confidence level in the workplace. I don't know if you can see the poll. Ok, I see somebody has responded. Anybody else want to respond? Ok. Ok. Thank you so much. So I, I just got two responses somewhat uh confident. So you are not too confident and neither are you uh very confident. Um It's a process. Uh I wouldn't expect you to uh perform magic or, you know, uh change or transform overnight. Uh Like I said, please keep developing on a daily basis. Keep journaling. Uh keep mentoring, for example, uh have uh 2 to 3 women or more people that you, you, you can draw strength from or you can draw uh courage from, try to see how you can create that safe space to see how to, you know, motivate yourself and uh hold yourselves accountable.

And um the o the last one which I um is really, really important in our life is please position yourself as a brand. Let people know you for something unique. It, it may not be um all perfect now, like I said, but keep building yourself whether in cloud computing, whether in coding, keep building yourself, become an expert at it as, as it is, it will get to a time where you will not only be invited to the table, but uh people would also support the course in bringing you to the table.

When I say table, I mean, is the table of leadership is the table of um of um like um the sea level or the top level management? So uh thank you all so much for a wonderful time. Please feel free to connect with me. We can have these conversations ongoing. Thank you all so much. Bye. Oh, sorry, I saw, sorry. So let me just respond to this. What are ways you would encourage someone to move to the workplace, especially as a woman then? Um But what are ways you would encourage someone to move up to the workplace? I don't really understand what that means when you say move up to the workplace except if you are talking about in promotion or like in elevation. Uh One thing I would like to say especially for me as an instance. OK. Moving up in promotion is uh consistency. Uh a lot of times I don't know where, where you are from, but there is this uh narrative or approach in Nigeria, for example, where people want to get recognized and in the course of getting, wanting to get recognized, they try to pretend so they want to do that to have that good impression.

So that way when the management sees them, they are able to identify them and put them in that position or it could be in another different uh position in a company. Uh The way you can actually move up the ladder is like I said, keep developing yourself, keep every day, keep developing yourself, try to see what are the things that you are learning and learning differently. The next day, you know, uh if you get to a time where uh the opportunity is gonna come for you, I will give myself as an instance. Uh Before I founded my organization called themi Makers Africa, I used to, I never had any experience in coding. I never had any background in computer science. But when I put my, my, my, my mind into it, like developing myself, I wasn't all perfect. I still made mistakes. What I did was I was open to learning. I started reaching out to people who could help me in, you know, learning these things differently, gathering resource materials, uh uh and keep developing myself. It got to a time where I became consistent and I became like an expert. Uh in two years time, I had to set up my data science school and set up an NGO where we can train people. The essence. I'm telling you this is you don't just find women the ladder that way they take baby steps in building themselves.

So it may take a while. But please just understand that consistence and perseverance is the key, not all doors that you knock on will be open to you, but keep knocking. And when you knock the next time, knock differently. Uh I hope that answers your question. Sally. Uh Yes, thank you so much. Sally. Please just connect on linkedin. Although I don't really say much on linkedin, but I would really be happy to answer or address any of your questions. Thank you all so much. Please take care and have a wonderful time at the Women In Tech Global Conference. Bye.