Women belong in tech.
Which is why we're bringing you the perspectives of two women who work at Voyance.
One is a Product Designer. The other is a Content Marketing Manager. And they're here to share their perspectives as women working in tech.
Aderinsola Adejuwon (Product Designer)
How did you get into tech?
I got into tech during the lockdown. ASUU was on strike so I was out of school and trying to define possible career paths. I had to do this because I didn't see myself building a career in what I studied in school.
During my research into career paths, I came across product design and I went down a rabbit hole of watching random design Youtube videos like “Day in the life of a designer”, listening to podcasts, and then said to myself, "I can do this."
I started learning by reading articles on Medium. I also joined a couple of design communities on Slack, and I took 1 or 2 courses on Coursera.
After learning on these platforms, I proceeded to build my portfolio with tangible designs that would reflect most of what I had been learning. What I called a portfolio then was pretty basic, looking back on it now. But at the time I was happy that I was able to do it.
I found layouts I found interesting and tried to replicate and understand them. I did the user flows and wireframes for existing apps just to understand what the user experience and the thought processes of the designers were.
At the same time, I started applying for internships because I wanted some hands-on experience. Fast forward to July 2021, and I got an offer for an internship here at Voyance. That was how I got into tech.
How do you deal with gender bias in your field?
In the past, I've just ignored subtle comments and kept pushing. But l've also tried to explain to people that what they were saying didn't really make any sense.
I am generally a non-confrontational person, but if I need to, I address it right then and there with the person.
What is your advice to young women like you who might feel too discouraged to get into tech?
I would say that it is not as hard as it looks. It may seem like a long road, but just take it one step at a time. Don't try to do it all at once; pace yourself and set realistic goals and timelines for yourself. Growth takes time.
Even for me, getting into product design was initially very overwhelming because I was trying to consume all the information and resources at once.
I wasn't trying to enjoy the process of learning and actually understand what I was trying to do. I wanted to start learning product design today and be really, really good at it tomorrow.
You can be a woman in tech. There’s nothing about you that isn't good enough for tech, you are smart enough; you don't need to have 2 heads.
Just because you are a woman doesn't mean that you can't do it.
Do you ever struggle with self-confidence and the need to prove yourself because of your gender?
I am constantly affected by imposter syndrome. Half of the time I don't think what I have done is good enough.
I often doubt myself before starting a task, because of my inner critic.
As a woman in tech, how is it to find other women as mentors?
When I started my journey, I was actively looking for mentors. It was later on that I noticed that all the mentors that I came across were men.
So yes, I definitely struggle with getting female mentors who have gone down a similar path.
What do you think can be done to break gender biases in tech?
We need to understand the environment and pay attention to how biases affect us.
Folasade Daini (Content Marketing Manager)
How did you get into tech?
When tech got popular and I heard how much people were earning, I thought about learning to code 😂.
I thought, it can’t be that hard - isn’t it just about learning python? But I hated math, and knew I wouldn’t build a successful career if I didn’t have a deep interest and money alone was my motivation.
So I continued working as a vet until I discovered I didn’t have to code to work in tech.
I started learning skills that involved what I genuinely liked. For me, that's always been writing.
How has your journey been so far?
I started out by just writing. I wrote a lot. Then I did some content marketing for my private practice as a veterinarian. I didn’t even realize that was what it was called back then. But it brought me a lot of customers.
After that, I got my first job in tech as a Content Marketer. I started learning on the job. I'm still learning now.
The journey has been really interesting. It’s come with a lot of growth. I started out as a freelance writer, became an Associate Content Marketer, and now in my current role I work as a Content Marketing Manager.
Can you recount any experiences of gender bias during your tech journey?
I have been fortunate to work in an environment that respects gender equality. However, it isn’t necessarily the same for others. The tech space still has more men than women.
How do you deal with gender bias in general?
For the times I have experienced it outside of work, I've called it out. I also try to celebrate places where gender equality is promoted.
What is your advice to young women who are not interested in code and want to have a career in tech just like you?
You don’t have to code to work in tech. There are other specialties available. Tech companies need these roles just as much as they need coders. So just find what you love to do amongst these other options and start building those skills
What career opportunities are available in non-code tech?
- Product Management
- Financial analysis
- Business Development
- Customer Success
- Talent Acquisition/HR
- Content Marketing
What steps do you think employers can take to break gender bias?
They can definitely start with bridging the gender pay gap. Research has shown men are more likely to earn more than their female counterparts. Employers can start with ensuring men and women who work in similar roles get equal pay.
Just like Folasade and Derin, you too can choose to break biases and pursue a career in tech. We celebrate you and every other woman in tech who adds color in her own way to this space. The world needs you!