November 06, 2019 / 10:50 AM / Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header
Image Credit: WebTV
The just-concluded 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week featured a panel session that discussed the role women are playing in the financial technology space globally and in sub-Saharan Africa.
Panelists at the event who discussed the topic include Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-Founder, Piggy Bank, Diallo Djiba; Senior Fintech Advisor, Ecobank, Togo, Yemi Keri CEO, Heckerbella, Aarti Shah Lead Consultant Cobalt Partners, Kenya moderated by Mrs. Bukola Iji; Partner, Spa Ajibade & Co.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Diallo Djiba said that girls should be aware of the opportunities that they have with technology at a very early age, and more girls should participate in technology education - highlighting the fact that it has been very difficult for girls to find female role models in the African Tech space.
According to her, some of the big corporates that have men occupying the leading roles have created an environment that has not enabled girls to see the prospects of building their careers in the technology ecosystem, a development she believed has to change.
Djiba advocated for increased education and enlightenment for the girl child to give them an insight into the opportunities in the Fintech industry.
Ms. Odunayo Eweniyi, in her contribution to the discourse, emphasized the need for the girl-child to be taught and filled with the self-awareness that they can achieve whatever they want, leading to more women taking their place in the Tech sector.
Eweniyi noted that it was time for girls to break through the ceiling limiting their advancement in technology and other sectors, especially in countries like Nigeria.
Mrs. Yemi Keri giving her remarks, said more girls need to be encouraged to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, across the nation.
She also stressed the need for female role models in the technology sector to encourage and guide girls in their quest to make an impact in the entire industry value chain.
In the Fintech space, Mrs. Keri called for companies to make conscious efforts at increasing female participation in the Tech industry.
Ms. Odunayo supporting the position of Mrs. Keri said that female Tech CEOs and other female leaders have a role to play in opening the doors of opportunities for their younger female counterparts.
Beyond the conversation of gender representation, Odunayo was of the view that there were competent and skilled women that could be employed to make significant impact in financial technology.
Mrs. Djiba called for more mentoring programs for teenage girls in the Nigerian technology space, which will require a public-private sector collaboration to achieve a wider scale.
Djiba said there are immense opportunities for young women in coding and programming, skills that are a critical part of the technology business.
She also made a strong case for women entrepreneurs, leaders and corporate organizations to mobilize efforts in funding training boot camps for young girls in the country.
Mrs. Aarti giving further insight into the issue of women participation in technology, noted that there were about 20 countries in the globe, that had more women in the science and tech space (especially in Scandinavian countries), and a major enabler was the inclusive education policy put in place by the respective countries.
She also called for increased gender diversity in the Fintech Industry, especially the Health-tech space.
The panelists all agreed that deliberate government and company policies in the technology sector that encourages gender diversity would encourage female participation in financial technology.