This is Andela
Mar 8, 2024

How women at Andela are inspiring inclusion

Eliza Power
5 minutes

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #inspireinclusion; that when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world for all.  

According to Erin Teaque, SVP at Google, “being a woman on a team of all men means that you’re going to have a unique voice. It’s important to embrace that.” From Ada Lovelace, widely recognised as the first computer programmer, to Grace Hopper, the maverick who designed and implementation the first programming languages, women’s creative and innovative contributions to the world of tech have been transformative, generating new technological discoveries. Yet, despite sparking much evolutionary progress, women still make up just over a quarter of the tech industry, while often their work is devalued due to internal bias. In 2022, global tech layoffs disproportionately affected women, with 69.2% of those laid off being female.  

Gender equality is not only ethical, but it can reap tangible benefits for any organization, including enhanced performance and increased innovation. In other words, to ensure success in the tech industry, it is critical for businesses to encourage women to embrace technology.

To accelerate equality, many women across the tech sector support, mentor and inspire up-and-coming female colleagues.  

In May, we'll celebrate Andela’s 10-year anniversary, and we have been proud to work with many inspirational women over the past decade, both in our community and our team, who dedicate their time to helping other women succeed.  

We asked some of our female Andelans to offer their expertise and unique perspectives on inclusion, their personal successes, and how they intend to encourage more women to join the tech industry over the next 10 years.

Lori Supsic -  – Senior Director, Product Programs

"When I joined the world of technology in 2006, I was one of a handful of women in my new hire group, and one of two other women on my various client assignments.  At times, these dynamics proved challenging, frustrating, and more than once, invaluably educational.  It’s been a pleasure watching these ratios balance out over the past 18 years, and in turn witnessing women in technology enjoy a more seamless integration into the tech world. People management is something that I absolutely love and seeing team members not only grow, but thrive, in their careers is a rewarding experience.  In the next 10 years, I’d love to see myself sitting alongside other female leaders in technology talking about how much we’ve well and truly balanced out the male/female ration in the technology world! A proper “remember in 2024 when….” moment!"

Rose Maina – Andela Community Member and Mobile Engineer

"As a woman in tech, I am proud of contributing to products that empower millions of individuals to achieve more by adding value to their lives through technology. In the future, as an artist, I look forward to using my expertise as a software engineer to create a platform that supports artists within East Africa. I want to actively champion women in tech through mentoring, advocacy, and involvement in diversity initiatives. By doing so, I hope to make a meaningful impact on the lives of artists and women by nurturing an inclusive and dynamic community."

Haneefah Abdurrahman Lekki -  – Talent Success Partner

"Women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and approaches to problem-solving, and this is super important to contribute to innovation and creativity within the technology sector, which leads to better products and services. I believe encouraging more women to enter the tech field is akin to saving lives and making the world a better place. In my 5+ years of experience as a Hijabi woman in tech, sharing my story and building a community for women, I’m proud of the enormous impact this has made within the community, from more women having the confidence to start their career to having a supportive environment for women to pursue those careers and succeed."

Natasha Woods – Senior Director, Communications

"I love being the one behind the scenes putting amazing stories out into the world. Over the next 10 years, I would like to continue to support developers through storytelling, and I hope to have more female voices telling these stories. And I hope the female voices that I have helped to amplify have inspired other women to enter or continue working in the tech world. Encouraging more women to join the technology industry will bring with it a diversity of experiences and cognitive abilities that can have a powerful impact. And it would be nice to see more women in the sea of male faces at tech conferences!"

Feji Ikogho – Community Programs Manager

"Women bring strength and creativity to the table. Over the past decade, I have taken immense pride in leading initiatives to foster community engagement and professional development within the tech sector. Witnessing the tangible impact of these efforts on individuals’ lives and career trajectories has been profoundly rewarding, reinforcing my commitment to driving positive change. Whether through mentorship, advocacy, or creating opportunities for skill development and career advancement, I am determined to play a role in building a more inclusive and equitable tech industry where all individuals have the chance to thrive and excel."

Maria Velasco – Andela Community Member and Back-End Engineer

"Women in technology bring a unique blend of strategic thinking, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail, consistently providing innovative solutions and keeping the balance level between men and women. Over the next 10 years, I want to help mentor aspiring female engineers to upskill in AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies to provide agile and fresh solutions, and at the same time, provide some virtual training about how to easily become a senior technical leader as a woman in the tech industry."

Gabriela Gasson – Talent Success Partner

"In 2024, we should be doing more to encourage women to embrace tech, challenging the long-standing perception of it being male dominated. Women are just as capable as men and it's time to harness their potential. I'm proud of the resilience and determination I've witnessed in my female colleagues and members of our community. This strength has propelled me to succeed, to grow, and to push my boundaries. I want to inspire more women across various industries to recognize their strength and realize that even the most seemingly unattainable dreams and goals are achievable. It’s essential to break down barriers and forge a path towards a more inclusive and empowered future."

Maureen Kamau – Technical Delivery Manager

"As an engineering leader, my focus extends beyond individual accomplishments to the empowerment of my teams. One of the most rewarding aspects of my career journey has been the opportunity to mentor numerous female software engineers. I am humbled when they return to share their experiences and express gratitude for the impact our collaboration has had on their professional journeys. Being in a position where I can positively influence the next generation of female software engineers is a source of great honor. I’m equally dedicated to empowering and encouraging more women to embrace the tech industry, creating an inclusive environment where women feel not only welcomed, but also supported in their pursuit of tech careers."

Samantha Cruz – Andela Community Member and Data Analyst

"When I was studying Naval Engineering in college, I joined a team for a boat modeling competition. I was the first and only woman on the team. While travelling the country for competitions, it was common that the rest of the team would meet up at night in the boys' dorm to strategize, but I was left out because I stayed in the girls' dorm. I didn't know what they had decided until the next day, so I was completely out of the loop. In the end, I stood up for myself and requested a rule: that any team meeting needed to include everyone. This wasn't just about me being part of the team; it was about showing that everyone, regardless of gender, should be included. Over the next ten years, I want to help and guide other women who want to succeed in tech. I dream of a future where women are not just part of technology but are also leading it."  

Bena Ndagaano – Senior Operations Associate, Apprenticeships Program

"By welcoming more women into tech roles, we unlock a wealth of fresh perspectives, creative solutions, and groundbreaking ideas. Over the past 10 years, I'm proud of my journey as a woman in the tech industry, overcoming challenges and carving out a space for myself. I’m committed to both further developing my own tech knowledge and actively championing for more women to embrace the opportunities within the tech world. By empowering and supporting women in tech, we pave the way for a more inclusive and vibrant industry, driving progress and shaping the future together." 

Ashley Rendall – Senior Manager, Content Strategy

"The number of women in tech is growing, but we can't stop there. It's important to have more female voices and insights, especially in tech, to help shape the future. Instead of 'women can do anything a man can do', it's women can do what they put their mind to. I'm very thankful for the women mentors and leaders at Andela who have helped pave the way and show that women can and should be in the room. Over the next ten years I hope to see an equal spread, without question, that women are helping to lead the way in tech!"

Patricia Ngetich -  – Program Manager

"We are currently experiencing a technological revolution, where technology is the vehicle behind transformation and economic progress. I believe it's crucial for more women to not only join, but also drive and collaborate with others already in the technology space. The most fulfilling part of my career has been connecting talented young women with global opportunities, which is the heart of Andela's mission. It's been rewarding witnessing the tenacity with which different individuals have taken these opportunities and utilised the skills and resources that came with them to shape their own leadership journeys."

Women lift women

Supporting other women to succeed in tech is essential for inclusivity, helping to dismantle systemic barriers and fostering a culture of empowerment and collaboration. By lifting each other up, women can build a network of support and mentorship. And it is this vital guidance and encouragement that can inspire the next generation of female technologists, leading to more creative tech solutions and better outcomes for society as a whole.

Find out how how we're supporting women in tech:

How to build your confidence as a woman in tech

Women in tech: An interview with Adetola Ahmed, Andela community member

How women are dictating the future of tech with the Andela Technical Leadership Program

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