Home Perspective Aghama: Empowering women with MumsWhoCode

Aghama: Empowering women with MumsWhoCode

by Goddie Ofose
0 comment

By Ayo Oyoze Baje

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really

even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.”

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft.

One of the fantastic, fundamental features of the 21 st century world we currently

live in is the ever-expanding influence and indeed impact of Information

Technology (IT) on our daily events and experiences. That encapsulates our

lifestyles; right from the home front, through educational, religious, health,

transportation and entertainment sectors as defined by it.

As aptly described by integrisit.com and indexed by Google: ”Information

technology (IT) is the study and use of computers or any kind of

telecommunications that store, study, transmit, send, retrieve, and manipulate data

and information. IT is a combination of the people, software, internet, and

hardware that automate and perform core, essential tasks within an organization.”

That is an informative definition.

But as rightly noted by renowned social media entrepreneur, Matt Mullenweg:

“Technology is best when it brings people together.” And that is precisely where

Mrs. Aghama Moriah Jesurobo comes into the fast-evolving, tech-driven socio-

economic picture that the Nigeria is turning into.

Meeting her for the first time at the ICT Department of Bells University of

Technology, Ota, Ogun state years ago, one found the highly talented, self-effacing

but resourceful computing professional always exuding an aura of a winsome

smile; beaming rays of hope into the lives of others.

For instance, the passionate community service leader and change-maker has over

the past 12 years focused on the application of software applications for university

teaching, research and administrative processes. She has volunteered with several

local and international organizations whose missions align to promote lifelong

learning, create prosperity and women empowerment.

A proud alumnus of the first cohort of YALI Regional Leadeship Centre, ONE

Champion 2019, her work at MumsWhoCode she emerged as first prize winner at

the TechforGood Contest by SocialGoodNIgeria powered by Embassy of Sweden

in Nigeria in 2016.

Having literally been on her neck for months, one had to convince her that she

cannot hide her talents. Eventually, it turned out to be a highly engaging encounter.

Let us glean from her interesting answers to the probing questions.

What gave you the inspiration to venture into this unique project of

MumsWhoCode, when you started and where?

“In most careers, especially in areas like tech that are regarded as high-

concentration discipline, it becomes really difficult for women to cope with the

demands of the tech jobs and maternal responsibilities. And we have discovered it

is even harder for women with low family income.

“Workplace policies, constant need for capacity building, family expectations do

pose a huge barrier for women especially mothers in this technical field. More so,

poor representation in the field and a community of support which should serve to

help women stay in and grow to leadership positions are not readily available. So,

yours truly sought for a local community for women who code in 2020 and

couldn't find any within Nigeria. So, I decided to create one which welcomed the

first 9 members of the group.

“The aim of course, is for women to convene, co-learn coding skills and build

strong, mutually beneficial and professional relationships, as a way to gain

employment or meet workplace demands.

“Being a mum on a mission to develop programming skills, I sought to connect

with other women/mums who shared a similar interest as most organizations and

bootcamps were focused on young girls. As a techie, I know that age or maternal

status shouldn't stop her from pursuing her goal.

“Right now, we have evolved to a community promoting diverse tech skills and

launched our first Educational Project (Digital Women Bootcamp) in May 2021

which has enrolled over 1,000 women with great feedbacks”.

So, what is the scope of the bootcamp?

“Digital Women Bootcamp is a free tech program that lasts for 8weeks. It is

volunteer and donor-driven tech Bootcamp equipping women with solid

foundational skills and getting them ready for internship positions”.

Kindly explain the processes in simple terms

“Alright. Computer programming is the process of performing a particular

computation, usually by designing and building an executable computer program.

On its part, UI/UX Designs are technical skills required to build digital products

that meet business goals/requirements as well as one that product users love. While

UI deals with the look and feel of a digital product, UX is about the user

experience.

What about Cloud Computing?

“Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with

pay-as-you-go pricing.(source: AWS) while Digital Storytelling is the use of

digital tools to creatively tell brand stories

“ When it comes with Design with Canva, it is a digital product (software as a

service) used to design creative brand assets and render them in various digital

formats”

How do these translate to money for the Mums?

“The world of work is fast evolving and businesses continue to rely on problem

solvers to design, develop, market innovations as well as analyze/predict trends.

Non-profit ventures are also not left out.

“So, tech as an enabler is being leveraged to solve simple and complex problems

for people everywhere. Money is being exchanged for value. What this means is

that when women develop the technical and soft skills to solve problems and meet

market demands, they get a compensation for it in terms of salaries or revenues to

their business. This is one of our goals.

“To help more African women develop the technical skillset needed to get hired or

startup their ventures through the power of community and trainings. There is also

opportunity for global jobs, as it is possible to work remotely. Thankfully, we have

recorded some testimonials of students from past 3 Cohorts like gaining entry level

roles, international gigs and starting businesses.

Why are you focusing on women and not men?

“Thanks for this important question. Women are currently underrepresented in tech

fields. For instance, in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 30% of professionals who are

working in the tech sector are women.

“Currently, it is estimated that the total population in the tech workforce globally is

about 28% . We have more girls dropping out of stem classes and less young

women in tech disciplines in university classes. Girls and women have been taught

to believe that fields like programming are not for them which is false.

“With the current speed of digital transformation across industries, it is important

that women be equipped with the right skill sets to actively participate in today's

digital economy and even the future of work.

“Women are also teachers in their homes and can very easily transfer their

knowledge and digital skills; positioning their children and young people around

them for their own future of work.

Can we have one testimony from the participants?

“I am Mrs. Nwodo Precious Onyinyechi, a registered nurse by profession, a

researcher and a content writer.

“Typically, my experience in #DWBCC3 has helped improve my team work skills,

my research skills and ability to make prediction from available data trends. I also

gained more confidence about my tech skills.

My dear readers, now you have an insight into the increasingly impactful

MumsWhoCode and the brilliant brain behind Nigeria's first platform dedicated to

equipping women and mums aged between 22 – 45, with in-demand technical

skills in partnership with @techimpactclub @pushupafrica and @datacamp.

You can also understand why there is currently a great rush for the application for

the Fourth Women Bootcamp ending on August 29, 2022. Indeed, as the world-

renowned writer, Stewart Brand rightly stated : “Once a new technology rolls over

you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment