Stakeholders who attended the second edition of the Women Entrepreneurs & Executives in Tech Summit (WEETS) last week Thursday have come up with 21 recommendations, that they believe can close the gender gap in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology sector.
The stakeholders argued that the recommendations will boost the ego of women in Nigeria to massively take up ICT roles when implemented by the government and other private sector players.
The Women Entrepreneurs & Executives in Tech Summit….Towards a women-driven tech space, with the Theme: ‘Reskilling Women & Girls to Thrive in the Digital Economy, was held at the Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Ikeja. The Summit was organised by TechLife Media and Communications Limited and powered by TechLife with Ugo. Being the second edition, the Summit is intended to accelerate progress and identify Nigerian women across the board who have been able to maximize the enormous opportunities offered by the digital age to better their communities, careers, and the nation as a whole.
Stakeholders that attended the summit were drawn from a cross-section of the economy in both public and the private sectors, despite being perceived as a women’s programme. Some of the organisations and groups represented at the event include the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licenced Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Nigeria Computer Society, Computer Registration Professionals Association of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). Those from the private sector include Africa Data Centre, Hoop Telecoms, Medallion Data Centre, MTN Nigeria, Precise Financial Systems, Sifax Group, MainOne, Mydot.com, ICSL, Transworld security and MoMo. The media community as well as participants from key players in the banking, telecom, software, hardware of the nation’s ICT industry was also in attendance.
- The Nigerian Communications Commission do organized ‘Girls in ICT day, every year. This event must be sustained to encourage girls to participate in ICT.
- Girls from a very young age must be encouraged to take part in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- Government should create community resource centre across the country. The essence of this is to bring knowledge closer to the people.
- Some Non-Governmental Organisations in partnership with the government at all levels should organize digital awareness programmes for primary and secondary school students.
- Information and Communications Technology devices and services should be affordable.
- The government needs to provide definite policy direction on the digital agenda pursuit that carries women along.
- For women to be taken seriously, they should be a driving force to get empowered and reskilled. Women can be much more resourceful when they are reskilled.
- ICT should be leveraged to drive processes in the government and private sectors.
- Entrepreneurs should encourage the younger generation. By so doing, they will be making themselves role models in society.
- Women need to learn about Artificial Intelligence and cybersecurity to accelerate their growth and development…. The time to acquire these skills is less than 12 months. There is an opportunity for good income having these skills.
- Nigeria must retool its curriculum to embrace online learning so as to accommodate women, who most of the time are at home.
- It is now a woman’s world…. Technology has made so
- The banks need to give more support to start-ups, especially women entrepreneurs at affordable interest rates.
- The government and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy should identify initiatives to support women.
- Building skill sets is a continuous thing. Women should always meet up by reskilling.
- Women were encouraged to build their personal and business brands so they can stand out. Risks and challenges are part of life.
- A partnership between themselves and their male counterpart is important
- Spot the opportunity and be inspired…. Think Big X10 the idea and take action.
- No sympathy and sentiments – Women should create value for them to be recognized.
- Becoming an entrepreneur is all about problem-solving. Women should not go into entrepreneurship if they are not ready to solve societal challenges.
- Women must begin to take up roles and responsibilities in society. They should show up and be known. That is the only way they can contribute to policies that can grow and change society.