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DigitAll: Women in Tech Speak on their Experiences

March 8, 2023
Wura T and Martha Apeh

For a long time, It seemed like Information Technology (now fondly called “Tech”) was a male-fitted field because more men practised or took on careers in its various disciplines. Even when conversations refer to people in tech casually you will often hear them say things like “tech bro” “tech guy” and “IT guy”. It makes one wonder, is it just a boys club?  How about the women?

An engine running with men and women

In my experience attending a quarterly event a tech company organizes in Lagos, Nigeria for its community there are at least twenty men in attendance in comparison to the five or six women including myself who attend each time the event holds. This company always has openings for participants of all genders, but there is usually a low turnout of women which is said to be a result of limited information about the event to women. However, there is also the challenge that the few who have access to the information are sceptical about their ability to participate or take up space in those gatherings.

Gender Equality was made part of international human rights law by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 yet 75 years later, women are still fighting for equal rights in the workplace. When this right is discussed in the context of male-dominated fields like Tech, there is even more work done these days by big corporations and individuals to include women in innovation and technology. 

We recognise that oftentimes, many women may have to work extra hard or encounter more challenges in their quest to get into tech spaces or access the same opportunities that their male counterparts possess in the industry and despite research showing that including women in management results in more profit for the company, there is still a significant gender gap in leadership roles. For International Women’s day this year, we collected stories of women who have put in the work to learn about or pursue careers in Technology we hope that this inspires more women to aim for careers or better opportunities in tech. 

two beautiful and stylish young, dark girls sitting in a restaurant at the table, chatting and using a laptop

What the Women Said…

One of the respondents to our questionnaire talks about how she had registered in the talent network of a tech company but had to wait a couple of months to prepare before taking the test. She works in DevOps, a field saturated by men and she wanted to be exceptional. According to her, “I did not want my performance reviewed and selected based on a gender quota, but based on merit.” She aced the test and has been on the job for over three years.

There are also biases in society which limit women’s participation in tech roles. Bunmi while filing our survey stated that her major challenge has been the time management bias from people. They believe that “a woman should not devote this much time to work”.


Another major challenge that limits women’s participation in tech is the Workplace Culture Gap. For one, male-dominated workplaces might result in a higher risk of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Given that women are more likely to experience this and most companies in Nigeria do not implement policies protecting them from harassment, more women are likely to either seek opportunities in more gender-balanced workplaces or leave the industry in extreme cases. This assessment is also taking into consideration micro-aggressions often experienced by women that often result in the victims “toning down” or resorting to people-pleasing when they interact at work. 

An illustration of women being bullied

Karen had this to say “Although beginner-level resources flood the internet, resources that target mid-level professionals are scarce which makes it challenging to move up to senior-level roles.” Many mid-level professionals who are women are also grappling with family responsibilities at this time and the absence of resources usually deters them from seeking self-development in their roles. One of our respondents talks about having to deal with being a mother working in tech and how difficult that can be with minimal support. However, she keeps braving all the tasks she has to handle. When women decide to delay family life in favour of their career, they are often antagonized by society and referred to as “selfish” for prioritizing their career over family life.

To overcome the challenges in tech our participants talk about seeking support from senior techies that have solved similar problems in the past. This emphasises the need for women who are at senior levels or other techies both male and female who have the resources to empower other women to provide support for upcoming women. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to create more women-focused communities and share common experiences to help newbies adjust.

On the organizational level, supportive policies that encourage family life for women who are primary carers will go a long way in retaining mid to senior-level female professionals in tech. Training programs that upskill mid-level professionals are hard to come by for women and when they are available, the costs and added responsibilities may deter women from partaking. Organisations can either subsidize the cost or introduce reward systems for the women who successfully complete/earn certifications.

When asked what is the most fulfilling part of their work, here is what our respondents had to say:

  • Providing Security Solutions to organisations and individuals helping them to reduce their Cyber vulnerabilities. -Ruth  (Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst)
  • Supporting people to start a career in Cybersecurity. – Ireti (Information Security Manager)
  • Getting results at the end. – Blacky (Cyber Security Professional)
  • The most fulfilling is also the most challenging.- Being on top of the evolving nature of Tech. – Simbiat (Cyber Security Professional)
  • Being able to solve user/business problems. – Omowunmi (Product Designer)
  • Contributing to great quality solutions that make life easier in a tough world. It feels good to know that the work I do has a positive impact on a much larger scale than I imagined. – Karen (Software Engineer)
  • Working in tech is exciting. – Chinel (DevOps Engineer)
  • I love the fact that my work and tech in general come with a bucket full of innovation. – Ruby (Data Analyst)
  • My voice is heard. My work is seen. I am relevant. – Olubunmi (Software QA Engineer)
  • After so much struggle as a beginner and finally getting to complete a project/portfolio, there’s an absolute joy to see that you actually did complete the project. The feeling is amazing. – Mopelola (Data Analyst)
  • I love that I learn something new every day. Chikodi (Cybersecurity Consultant)

At CcHUB we believe in the power of technology and understand the threat it poses to society at large which is why we provide holistic support for innovators to create solutions. We are also keen on inclusion and digital rights which is why this article and the women it spotlights are important to us. Most importantly, we implore stakeholders in the industry to use this feedback to take more impactful approaches towards including women in tech.

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