Stakeholders set to empower women with digital skills

The Nigerian Women In Information Technology (NIWIIT) has held its10th anniversary celebration, 7th National Conference, 8th AGM and 5th election in Lagos.

President of NIWIIT, Dele Bayo-Osibo, at the event called for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women and girls access and use technology.

Osibo said the association aimed to address youth employment, with a strong focus on empowering girls with digital skills.

She said that the programme develops digital skills through a series of locally adapted courses.

“Technology remains a key driver in increasing access to education, considering the age we live in. The time has come for a total reform of the sector to meet global competitiveness,” she said.

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Participants receive job-related training on data entry, digital accounting, graphic-design, web-design, and other digital skills.

According to her, “Nigeria must be more equitable and inclusive of women. One way to make that happen is hiring and retaining more women in tech roles. Cultural biases and limiting stereotypes about the emotional adaptability of women skew the hiring process against women.

“Organisations can fix this by creating and enforcing inclusivity laws where women have a fair chance at employment based on their skills alone.”

The CEO of MainOne and Keynote speaker at the event, Funke Opeke said investing in women-focused programmes was paramount.

“Hiring more women is important, but it’ll not miraculously fix the gender imbalance in tech job roles. For instance, in Nigeria, more women are out of school compared to men. How do women compete fairly if they aren’t well equipped? That’s why it’s important to invest in women-focused initiatives. These initiatives provide the relevant skills and mentorship to improve the education and employability status of women,” Opeke said.

“Meanwhile, females have abilities to navigate the new communication devices with different functions on all social media platforms, like computers, phones, tablets, iPhones Android, Bluetooth, radio, TV and others,” she added.

Opeke urged all concerned stakeholders, and government to rise to the occasion by embracing technology, describing it as a veritable tool to address various challenges plaguing the country.

President Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Adesina Sodiya, a professor, said they have been promoting digital skills in the tertiary institutions and IT development in the country, adding that the voice of IT professionals in every sector in the nation.

Sodiya commended NIWIIT for reaching another milestone that would position them for more impactful achievement.

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