In a bid to drive gender-inclusive work culture in Africa’s biggest economy, Swifta Systems – a tech solutions provider with a wide range of affordable enterprises has pledged to the #BreaktheBias.
Speaking at a recent town hall, Ayotunde Farinu, the chief executive officer said, “While tech is a fantastic industry that is changing the way we live our day-to-day lives, it doesn’t account for the proper representation of women.”
“Therefore, the goal at Swifta is to fix the culture, and environment women work in through representation, inclusive recruitment, flexibility, mentorship, and retention.”
“Already, we are proud to have brilliant women across disciplines and competencies in both the management team and as part of the staff. So, this shows that investing in talents irrespective of gender, tribe or affiliation is the way to go. The future is bias-free, and we are proud to be part of this revolution,” she added.
In a statement, the organisation said women are generally regarded as agents of change, noting the popular cliché that innovation is feminine.
However, the statement stated that the narrative doesn’t often hold water in the tech ecosystem as the industry is still male-dominated worldwide and Nigeria in particular, adding that while it seems that a lot is centered around women in tech, recent research shows just how low performing the gender is accounted for from thinking about a career in tech to recruitment, retention and even retirement.
While names like Odun Eweniyi, Adaora Nwodo, Ife Durosinmi-Etti, Adebola Sanni have become giants in their respective fields, this is not the norm across the board, it said.
“Even though there seems to be a lot of push for more women in tech and programmes centred on getting more girls into tech, one might almost wonder why the need or emphasis for one particular gender are needed.”
“In sub-Saharan Africa, women constitute only 30percent of professionals in the tech sector. Checks revealed that only 12percent of global fintech founders and co-founders were women, and only 6percent of fintech had female chief executive officers (CEOs), noting that the number is on the rise.”
Speaking on why there is poor female representation in the tech industry, the organisation said women are still being driven out of the tech industry due to burnout, lack of work-life balance, and gendered biases, which is quite concerning. On the brighter side, up to 10 percent of girls said that a career in tech remains their first choice.
For Swifta Systems, a tech solutions provider with a wide range of affordable enterprise and B2B solutions ranging from Software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and platform as a service (Paas) that meet every business needs via an HRM solution, a payroll and accounting software as well as Google Workspace and Google Cloud, having studied the poor numbers firsthand, the task is simple: ensure an equal gender spread for technical and non-technical roles concerning competence, access, and opportunities.
Indeed, the efforts of intelligent and forward-thinking companies like Swifta should be lauded. It has become increasingly apparent that incorporating an inclusive recruitment process void of unconscious discrimination is essential to push a bias-free work environment properly.
For proper representation, diversity is required from the hiring stage to succession planning and retention. Also, with more women being primary caregivers,
Flexible work cultures and options to either go fully remote or a hybrid style are the way to go. It enables us to find a way around the school runs for important family moments, thus living life on their terms while still actively contributing to the industry and progressively growing.
Finally, mentorship and retention are also necessary—representation and access matter. People need examples of where they want to be in the company to motivate them to give their all while hoping to be there someday, the statement said.
“It is noteworthy to remember that tech has always existed to ensure a better and more fulfilling existence. And this doesn’t only stop in developing game-changing products and processes. A better life for all means equal access to opportunities and resources to drive and scale growth. A gender-inclusive sector is the first step in this.”