• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tackling Exclusion, Gender Bias Against Women In Tech -Techuncode, She Code Africa

Tackling Exclusion, Gender Bias Against Women In Tech -Techuncode, She Code Africa

Experts from different sectors who have been actively involved in female tech innovations in Nigeria have said that women in tech need access to more opportunities even as they should be included in the major affairs of development.

According to them, gender bias against women, especially women in tech should be curbed, even as they added that everyone needs to be carried along in the state especially those in underserved environments.
These were among the outcomes of the panel discussion during the tech hub activation organized by Africa’s widely read tech platform, www.techuncode.com in partnership with female tech community, She Code Africa.

The panel discussion heralded the 2022 Lagos state Economic Summit also known as Ehingbeti.
The theme of the discourse was “Women in Tech: How Female Tech Innovators are Growing the Digital Economy of Lagos State.”

Present at the event was the Commissioner for science and technology in Lagos state, Mr Hakeem Fahmn.
Other speakers wereFounder, She Code Africa and Open Source Community Africa, Ada NdukaOyom and the Senior Associate at UdoUdoma& Bello-Osagie Law Firm, Pamela Onah.

The She code Africa hub activation series had over 100 attendees for both the physical and virtual audiences.
Meanwhile, driving the conversation, the experts spoke about the need for inclusivity and more infrastructure in the state.

Also, they identified some of the problems affecting female innovators in the state to include gender bias and a lack of grassroots programs to encourage females.
These were some of the thought-provoking and engaging angles of the panellist discussion.
According to them, the state government needs to assist people, especially women, in the digital industry to establish a stronger ecosystem.

ALSO READ: Why Are Young Tech Talents Afraid Of Govt? – Techuncode, I4G Discuss

Speaking at the event, the commissioner for science and technology in Lagos state, Mr Hakeem Fahm, while commenting on what Lagos is doing to assist newcomers entering into the Lagos state tech said, Lagos state has created policies and funds to assist newcomers entering technology.

He said women in tech need to collaborate with the government on more ways of growing the state’s economy.
On supporting women in tech, the commissioner said the government has created support measures such as access to free learning tools to encourage young women to delve into technology. He said this will help them realize that they are limitless.

Furthermore, Fahm said the state has set up employment funds as well as some agencies like LASRIC to support women.

Also, he noted that gender bias is one of the SDG’s primary concerns.
He said that the government is working hard to ensure that no gender is left behind in any profession.
According to him, “35% of the current Lagos state governor’s cabinet members are females.
Speaking further, the commissioner said “technology has brought about a paradigm shift in the ways things are done. He said old methods of doing things are becoming obsolete just as they are no longer viable, creating a greater need for people to harness technology to go about their daily activities.

According to him, “There is much more that can be done to actually target the technology ecosystem in terms of actual projects as well as collaborations to aid in economic growth.”
On the role of the private sector in supporting women in tech, the Senior Associate at UdoUdoma& Bello-Osagie Law, Pamela Onah said the private sector is doing more in helping the new ones with technology.
She, however, suggested that the state should create a strategy where tech skills can be taught to students while at their younger ages.
“They should provide them with the resources needed to enter the digital space.”

Speaking further, she said the government must use data to solve issues.
According to her, “I want to see the government use data and use it to make our lives easier.”
On the issue of inclusivity and infrastructure, she said “everyone needs to be carried along.They need to be aware of the digital space and there should be an infrastructure available to enable them to enter the tech space.”
“Inclusivity and infrastructure are ways to push the technology to everyone”, she also said.
Equally speaking, Founder of She Code Africa, Ada NdukaOyom said acces to more opportunities is what women, especially those in tech, need.

“The need for the average woman in tech is access to opportunities.”
However, she believes that there is still a big gap in the resources and opportunities available to women in tech as compared to their needs.

She also reiterated the need for tech education for all, saying that “students, teachers, and parents need to be educated about technology. They need to see the job opportunities and usefulness of a child understanding the basics of technology.”

She, therefore, called on the government to carry out tech grassroots programs in schools, especially public schools. Also, she said the government should sponsor grassroots programs.
Ada adds that resources could be in the form of learning materials or work tools to aid learning.
Also, she spoke on how men have traditionally dominated the tech industry. And this makes it tough for an average Nigerian female to break into the field without assistance.