Are We Grooming Women Leaders in Africa’s Technology Ecosystem?

Written by Staff

Women in technology in Africa do not have the same leadership opportunities as their male counterparts. While there has been an increase in the number of women stepping into technology careers as a result of several training and mentorship initiatives, they are finding it difficult to rise through the ranks.

Only three out of ten senior managers in the telecoms, media and technology industry in Africa are women, according to a 2016 report by McKinsey & Company. According to the report, women are less likely to get a promotion. Only about four in ten promotions in private businesses go to women across Africa. There are fewer women as one moves from non-management roles to senior management roles.

From Tech Cabal. Story by Olanrewaju Odunowo.

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Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

Women across Africa are defying the odds and taking a seat at the table in the burgeoning tech and startup ecosystem. In TechCabal’s portrait series of women in Lagos’ tech ecosystem, 50 women with different backgrounds and at different stages of their careers were captured. While about 46% of them have 5-10 years of work experience, 18% have more than 10 years, the remaining have less than five years. About three out of ten of the women are currently in core technical roles. The others are in managerial, business development, marketing and communications roles.

Despite their best efforts, women don’t have access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts. According to the International Finance Corporation, half of the startups in Africa have a female co-founder. However, women-led startups only made up 9% of African startups that received funding between 2012-2017. Only a meagre 5.3% of venture capital for African startups in 2017 went to women.

Clearly, not only is there a need to get more women into technology, an enabling environment needs to be created for them to thrive.