This year’s Most Influential Women In Technology, Africa, is a tight, tough race! Many of last year’s contenders did not make it. With the list opening up came women across the continent kicking butt and taking names! In fact, there have been unforgettable learnings from the compilation of this list.
- Most of the women nominated themselves. This is rather interesting because, for the longest time, it has been believed women do not lean in, speak out, recognise their own greatness, or celebrate themselves. I have proof that they do. And this is great. Which made me observe something else.
- Women rarely nominated other women. Now, I do not know how to interpret this or what it means. I grew up hearing that women are their own worst enemies. But I am torn. On the one hand, I admire the gumption it took to nominate self. But I would also love it if more women rooted for each other.
- When women were nominated, they were more likely nominated by men. There is this concept of sponsorship. No, not the Kenyan slang version, but the corporate understanding of sponsorship that is purely and strictly professional; where a high-ranking usually male executive notices your brilliance and suggests you for a promotion and raise to other higher-ups, speaking out on your behalf. They basically stand in that gap for you, building a bridge for you to get to the other side. Sponsors tend to be mostly male because they are more likely to be the ones in positions of power across almost all industries. In the world of tech, women need sponsors more than ever. And it is these men who nominated the accomplished women on their radar. There are women who have been fortunate to grow as a result of sponsorship, and it is part of their success story.
- Women In Tech In Africa – if you don’t document your success, we can’t find you. If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to witness it, did it really happen? Social media is free, and it is the biggest platform within your grasp that can tell your story. Post your interviews and accolades. Share your successes with the world. Talk about failing and failing fast. Be present to your own greatness. Let people see you shine. And be authentic so people can also see you pick yourself up.
This year’s list will definitely strike you as different. Most of the faces and names are fresh. And as you can see, there is no shortage of female role models in tech. Women are approaching it from every angle, doing everything their genius allows them to do.
And it is entirely possible that you too could be on this list sooner or later. All I can say is, make 2022 count.
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