The world has lost over $160 trillion dollars because of economic gender gap and women functioning in underpaid roles.
This is according to Sholape Akinpelu, Country Manager and CEO of HerVest while giving her speech at a Women in Tech organised digital conference themed, ‘Digitalizing Gender Equality for Brighter Economies’ which was monitored by Nairametrics.
Women in Tech in Nigeria is the fourth chapter for the global initiative in Africa having launched across other African countries such as Angola, Zambia and South Africa. The event marked the official launch of the Nigerian chapter of the leading global technology advocacy group for gender rights
What they are saying
Akinpelu noted that globally, we lose over $160 trillion because of the economic gender gap and because women who are tech’s most untapped resources are being subjected to underpaid roles.
She however, highlighted that Covid reversed a lot that had been done to close the gender gap.
She said, “Before covid, we were at 102 years in closing the total gender gap but now it stands at 136 years. It’s safe to say that women are Tech’s most untapped resource.
“In Nigeria, women make up an average of 22% of Engineering and technology university graduates each year. Globally 1 in 5 people working in the information and technology sector are women. Women need tech for growth. Women in tech is taking a global stand to empower 5 million women and as a result, boost the sector as a whole by 2030.
“WIT has four focus areas which are: education, advocacy, social inclusion and business. The strategy is to build resilient systems that will penetrate structures to drive sustainable progress; systems being people and structure being institutions. WIT has over 30 chapters globally and has a presence in 6 continents.”
The event also included panel sessions with experts and key stakeholders from the technology industry, who discussed important issues such as creating a gender-balanced tech ecosystem, upskilling women who are tech players and achieving optimal participation of women in the industry,
The panellist highlighted that a woman in tech is someone who is leveraging technology to solve a problem around her environment and that there are other roles in tech that do not involve coding, urging more women to take up roles in the sector.
The event wrapped up with Vbank unveiling the Women in Tech Nigeria Makeathon, an initiative designed to empower 1,000 girls and women with digital and soft skills to successfully transition into STEM careers.