Bola Soremekun is a seasoned and experienced Product Manager. Aside her daily job of helping companies build great products, she mentors and coaches young women in technology and women looking to transition into the tech space.
Her story will definitely inspire more Women in Technology in Nigeria! But how did Bola found her mojo’? Did joining organizations such as Black Girls Code and Women Who Code, shaped her career?
Bola takes us through her journey:
“As a young woman of colour in the technology industry, I’ve had my fair share of struggles. When I first entered the field, I was excited to be working with some of the brightest minds in the industry, but I quickly realized that I was one of the only people of colour, and the only black woman, in my entire organization.
I felt like I was constantly being overlooked for opportunities and promotions, despite my hard work and dedication. My ideas were often dismissed or ignored in meetings, and I was frequently asked to take on tasks that were beneath my skill level.
One particularly difficult incident occurred when I was passed over for a promotion that I had been working towards for months. I had been told that I was a top candidate, but when the position was announced, it went to a white male colleague with less experience and fewer qualifications.
Feeling discouraged and disheartened, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I began to actively seek out mentorship and networking opportunities, joining organizations such as Black Girls Code and Women Who Code.
Through these groups, I was able to connect with other women in the industry who were facing similar challenges, and I was able to learn from those who had successfully navigated the labyrinth of the technology industry.
I also began to focus on building my personal brand, showcasing my work and accomplishments on my personal website and social media accounts. By demonstrating my expertise and value to the industry, I was able to attract new clients and opportunities.
Most importantly, I started to advocate for myself and my career goals. I spoke up when I was passed over for opportunities or when I experienced bias or discrimination. I sought feedback and used it to improve my skills, and I was willing to take risks and try new things.
As a result of these efforts, I was able to overcome the barriers and discrimination I faced in the technology industry. I eventually landed a job in a diverse organization where I am valued for my skills and contributions, and I am now in a leadership position. My story is a reminder that, despite the challenges, black African women can rise to leadership in the technology industry, but it requires hard work, determination, and courage
The technology industry has long been known for its lack of diversity, particularly when it comes to black African women. These women face a unique set of challenges in the industry, often feeling like they are navigating a labyrinth in their professional lives.
One of the biggest challenges that black African women in the technology industry face are the lack of representation and visibility.
They are often the only person of colour or the only woman in their team or organization, which can make it difficult to find mentors and role models who understand their experiences. Additionally, black African women may not see themselves reflected in the media and marketing materials of the industry, which can make it hard for them to envision themselves thriving in the field.
Another challenge that black African women in the technology industry face is the bias and discrimination they may experience. They may be passed over for promotions or opportunities because of their race or gender, and they may also face microaggressions and stereotypes in the workplace.
Despite these challenges, there are ways for black African women to rise to leadership in the technology industry. One key step is building a network of supportive peers and mentors. Joining organizations such as Black Girls Code or Women Who Code can be a great way to connect with other women in the industry, as well as to learn from those who have successfully navigated the labyrinth.
Another important step is to build a strong personal brand. By showcasing your work and accomplishments through a personal website or blog, you can demonstrate your expertise and value to potential employers or clients. Additionally, participating in industry events and conferences can help you gain visibility and make valuable connections.
Finally, it’s important to be intentional about advocating for yourself and your career goals. Speak up for yourself when you are passed over for opportunities or when you experience bias or discrimination. Seek out feedback and use it to improve your skills, and be willing to take risks and try new things.
In conclusion, the technology industry is known for its lack of diversity and black African women face a unique set of challenges. But by building a network, creating a personal brand, and advocating for oneself, black African women can rise to leadership in the technology industry”.