In response to the lack of active participation of women in activities happening within the innovation ecosystem in Osun State, Opolo Global Innovation Ltd. in partnership with the WITO community held a women in tech meetup in Osogbo, Osun State. The meetup and official launch for WITO, held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, was designed to provide a platform for women to discuss the challenges they face as women in the innovation ecosystem and how the community can help provide solutions to these challenges.
The program which had in attendance approximately fifty-three (50) women, comprising women with little to no tech skills, entrepreneurs, and tech experts, was structured into sessions that included: unveiling the vision and mission of WITO, experience sharing by selected individuals, a tech talk/workshop by Dr. Rhoda Ikono who is a fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society and also works at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Keynote address by the wife of the Osun State Governor, Her Excellency, Erelu Ngozi Adeleke, games and networking sessions, etc.
During her talk on “The Role of Women in Creating Change in Our Innovation Ecosystem”, Dr. Ikono spoke extensively on innovation and the innovation ecosystem, stating that women by nature are better multitaskers and the characteristics of multitasking and “web thinking” displayed by women are very essential to innovation as they bring diverse perspectives, enhanced creativity and improved user-centric solutions to the innovation ecosystem. She also spoke about proactive steps ecosystems should take to harness the full potential of women. Lastly, while encouraging women to embrace their unique voices in an “all men” team and not be intimidated, she shared pictures and portfolios of women actively creating change in the technology and innovation ecosystem.
In her address, The wife of the Osun State Governor, Her Excellency, Erelu Ngozi Adeleke, also encouraged women to be audacious and shun intimidation but not in a disrespectful manner to authority. While sharing her personal career experience and growth, she advised women to strive for a healthy work-life balance, always ask questions, and be open to learning new things especially where technology trends are concerned. She also stated that the role of youths in the innovation ecosystem should not be overlooked, further stating that the present administration is working towards having technical skill training focused on youth as well as women.