The Nigerian tech ecosystem is predominantly male, and only a few women are involved actively in the sector. This gender difference is a reflection of both African and global realities. Only 30 per cent of tech professionals in sub-Saharan Africa are women. Despite this, Nigerian women operating in the tech sector have been able to receive funding, close deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, start new startups and promoted gender equality. It’s impressive that Nigerian women are making a genuine impact in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
One such woman taking over the tech sector is Yanmo Omorogbe, co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Bamboo. A digital investment platform that enables Nigerians to buy, sell or hold assets traded on the US stock exchange right on their mobile phones or computers. Put simply, Omorogbe is the operative backbone of a business turning common Nigerians into stakeholders in global tech companies. Some of which include Twitter, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.
Yanmo grew up in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. She schooled in Grange Schools, in the same location. At first, She never entertained the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, least of all building a startup. Her journey toward building Bamboo was nothing short of happenstance. As she never had an interest in tech during her formative years. However, She was well equipped to make the best of her “lucky stumbles” when they happened. Especially when she studied Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and discovered she didn’t like it.
Her interest then shifted to finance and investing. A sector she learned so much about and later became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) holder. CFA is a professional designation considered the gold standard for financial analysis. Even with her Vast knowledge of finance and investing, she wasn’t able to secure shares in companies like Apple and Google. This difficulty birthed Bamboo; a means for Nigerians to invest in foreign stocks from the comfort of their phone
Before building Bamboo, Yanmowas a former assistant to the Nigerian Minister of Power, Works and Housing. After which she returned to the private sector as part of the Transaction and Asset Management teams at African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s largest infrastructure private equity fund managers. This company develops and manages private equity infrastructure funds designed to invest long-term institutional unlisted equity in African infrastructure projects. She also worked as a business development professional and actuary with Wecyclers Corporation and Tokio Marine Kiln respectively. In all, Yanmo dedicates herself to facilitating the continued growth of any organisation found herself.
Yanmo believes that society has to make the tech space more comfortable for women. In her words “As a society, we need to make it easier for women to become founders, to enter tech, to start learning to code, or know what other opportunities are available.
“Spaces need to be safer for women. Women are over mentored and underfunded. They don’t need another seminar; give them a check.”
Now, Yanmo is working to even the playing field for access to global investment opportunities for Nigerians, helping them grow their wealth.
Women like Yanmo, are proof that women can be more, do more and create more. A better narrative that can push Nigerian women to start thinking tech, building tech and living tech. Thus, this article is dedicated to women breaking down bias and enhancing gender diversity in the tech sector. You all are the source of encouragement to young girls as they give a career in tech a chance.Featured Image Source: Business Post Nigeria
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