Stakeholders Explore Opportunities for Women in Digital Technology


Wednesday, February  10, 2021 / 4:10 PM / Ayomide Oguntoye for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

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The Fintech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR) in collaboration with the Women in Management Business and Public service (WIMBIZ) on Saturday, February 6th, 2021, hosted the DigiWomen Masterclass webinar tagged "Digital Empowerment for Women in Career and Business". Mrs. Hansatu Adegbite, Executive Secretary, WIMBIZ, giving her opening remarks noted that with the world in the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) and moving swiftly, it was important to capture the true essence of digitalization.


Mrs. Tolulope Omolegho Akindero, General Secretary, FintechNGR, reiterated the digital revolution's essence, stating that it required new skills. She mentioned that before now, women have been underrepresented and marginalized in workplaces and in terms of accessing different opportunities, therefore every woman needs to leverage the opportunities that digitization presents because what used to require manual skills now requires a different approach and tools, which she mentioned needs are understood.


Mrs. Jameelah Sharreiff-Ayedun, Managing Director, Credit Registry, in her speech described digital skills as those needed for devices used for communication on various platforms, to network, access, and manage information. She added that digital skills are important because they reinforce how modern work is conducted. For modern professions, she said digital skills are essential parts of their professional toolkits.


Some of the skills she highlighted were; problem-solving, self-management, working with people, and the use of technology and development which are critically important to function in the 4th industrial revolution. "It takes more than being technically savvy to be successful, it equally requires a disciplined mind to deliver based on an organization's goals", she noted.


Speaking on the benefits of digital skills,  Sharreiff-Ayedun said that digital skills could enhance the careers of those who want to embrace flexible workspaces or freelancing. "The digitization of existing skill-sets and the creation of new digital professions means that remote and flexible working is more possible than ever and with the right skills, software, and good internet connection, anyone can be a digital freelancer" she noted.


Speaking further,  she observed that everyone should acquire basic digital skills. As business owners, she urged entrepreneurs to engage in the effective use of digital platforms to network, communicate, and attract clients to upscale businesses. She noted the need for continuous learning through research to find solutions to problems.


Lola Aworanti-Ekugo, Head,  Digital and Innovation, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), speaking on digital technology,  agreed that it has transformed nearly every aspect of modern life; travel, work, shopping, entertainment, and communications. She added that some of the additional areas that have been revolutionized recently can be attributed to the disruption caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.


"The COVID 19 pandemic pushed the frontier of digital transactions as the shift to digital tools and remote processes,  has exposed the costly infrastructure gaps and inefficiencies of the traditional financial system worth hundreds of trillions. Yet still largely dependent on in-person processes, slow-moving and costly paper documents"  she noted.


Speaking on the benefits, she said digital transactions save costs through efficient use of time by expediting entire payment and cash flow processes. It also allows for financial inclusion by increasing access to a range of financial services, including savings accounts, credit, and insurance products. She further stated that it allows women's economic participation by giving women more control over their financial lives and opening up greater opportunities.


In terms of maximizing technology and online presence, she said that online presence is now a lifestyle for people and should be maximized in areas like communication and networking, online trade, job search, and career upgrade as well as entertainment.

Talking about social media management, she advised professionals to abide by the following rules:

  • Personal life should not interfere in the professional life
  • Only use high-quality pictures for proper projection.
  • Secure social media footprints across multiple social networking platforms
  • Start a blog along your professional line
  • Be consistent.

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