Women’s participation in tech has been a trending topic in Africa, including Nigeria. This is because the tech sector is predominantly male. A situation that doesn’t benefit women, the economy and businesses. Several studies have shown that gender diversity in the workplace has the potential to boost the economy of any country. As well as help businesses get different perspectives of both genders to improve their decision-making. Despite these benefits, women’s participation in tech, especially in leadership roles remains disappointing.
This reality, however, can be associated with many factors such as familial responsibilities, marriage, childbirth, etc. And can never be entirely removed on the part of women. Nevertheless, more tech businesses and Communitiesarenow making deliberate attempts to ensure more women take up careers in tech. The following are ways to enhance women’s participation in tech.
1. Creating awareness: Most women won’t know about opportunities and benefits in tech if they don’t get to hear about them. The more people write, speak and create awareness about tech, the more women get excited and ready to get into tech. Again, Women in tech communities should use the avenue to introduce others to them. Rather than using the communities only for supporting their members.
2. Catching women young: when choosing careers, socialization is vital. Since the home is the first agent of socialization, change in the narrative should start from there. Women should be taught from a young age that they can do tech. Starting from the homes, primary and secondary schools as well as universities. Girls from different demographic ages should be encouraged to pursue careers in tech. Ultimately, this will increase the number of women pursuing careers in tech.
3. Role modelling: It is normal for young people to have adults they look up to. These adults are called role models. Role models and mentors who have valuable experience and lessons to share can make a huge difference for women. Sadly, when women in tech are shying from making their voices heard. They can’t be good role models. Therefore, they need to speak out and encourage other women to build successful careers in technology.
4. Educate Schools about Tech: The gender disparity we see in the tech space is more complex. Due to societal factors that limit women. Although some people will argue that such things no longer exist in the 21st century. Forgetting that most teachers and parents are still trying to balance the new and the old. Thus, they discourage young girls from pursuing careers in industries they believe to be ‘masculine”. All gender should be encouraged to veer toward coding, design and engineering etc. This will cause both genders’ career goals to kick off in later years.
5. Provide proper maternity leave and childcare: There’s no way to remove the pregnancy, maternity leave and child care on the part of women.Although the maternity leave of 6 months has become more common in Nigeria. It does not imply that the baby has miraculously grown. Women who send their babies to creche may not work with the right frame of mind. So, organisations are strongly encouraged to provide flexible working options and remote working to encourage women.
6. Teach women Tech Skills: Women can’t just wake up and decide to get into tech. They have to be coached and trained before assuming these roles. Tech organisations and communities on their part must provide training opportunities. Not only will they learn tech skills, but they will use them to break into the technology industry. Skills like coding, design and startup Bootcamp should be taught to women.
In conclusion, pushing the narrative to enhance women’s participation does not mean there are no women breaking boundaries. However, it presents a unique opportunity for more Nigerian women to carve a niche for themselves and become tech industry leaders. Since the sector has great potential to create enough jobs to lift them out of poverty. Also, Government and stakeholders are expected to create women-friendly policies that encourage them to take up careers in the sector.Featured Image Source: The United Nations
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