African Women in Web3

Iyin Fisher
Remote Religion is a series that shines a spotlight on the life of a remote tech worker in Africa. We explore the promise and perils of remote work and how to navigate career transition.
In this special Women’s Day edition of Remote Religion, we spoke to three women in Web3 about their professional journeys so far and advice they have for early-stage professionals transitioning into the space.

Jennifer Echenim is a Frontend Engineer at Nestcoin and a core contributor at Liquality.

Omotejowho Mentie (Jowho) is a Product Designer at ScalingFunds.

Ebube Ojimadu is a Product Manager at Quidax.

How did you get started in tech?

Jennifer: I studied Electrical Engineering at the university so I first programmed in languages like MATLAB, C, and Python. After graduation, I went on to take a web development course on Udemy that covered HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, and jQuery. After this, I was able to get an internship.

Jowho: I studied Software Engineering, business information systems, and Information technology. I also used to hand-draw when I was younger. With this combination of art and technology, I leaned into Product Design.

Ebube: In my role as a Marketing Communications Associate at Quidax, I got to interact with customers to understand their needs. Over time I grew restless because I could see some frustrations that customers were having about the product and I wanted to be able to do something about it. So, I researched Product Management, spoke to a couple of people who had some experience in the space, and then decided that I was going to become a product manager. I took a 3-month intensive training and was able to transition into a product management role within the company.

Who are the women in tech that you look up to and why?

Jennifer: Oluchi Enebeli from Crevatal, Odun Eweniyi from PiggyVest, Ire Aderinokun from Helicarrier, and Ogeh Ezeonu from Xperia. These women have constantly set the pace in the industry by the amazing work they have done, are doing, and are yet to do. I get inspired and excited every time I see them break ground. It just means there is a lot more I can do and will do!

Jowho: Ire Aderinokun. She’s been building for a while and I respect how she also reaches out to help other women get into tech. Also, Sarah Mills - she was previously in Consensys and she helped push me to apply for more full-time roles as well as recreate my portfolio.

Ebube: Adaobi Okerekeocha, Bunmi Wellington and Funto Akinbisehin These women are top people in the product space in Africa and they have done amazing things. One thing that fascinates me is how they started building a career in tech when there weren’t as many women as we have now in the space and how they stood out and made their mark. They inspire me so much.

How do you navigate being a woman in a male-dominated space?

Jennifer: As a woman in a male-dominated field, there can be a lot of “proving” oneself well enough to be considered at the table or even be respected in that field, I understand these challenges and sincerely, it takes a lot of courage to believe in yourself well enough to prove your worth. It is an overwhelmingly daunting task, but once you are in; you are in and the only way from there is up. I look forward to a time when having female management doesn’t come off as a shock or a thing to be ‘celebrated’. It should become a norm.

Jowho: I ensure I communicate very well with my colleagues. I try to listen to their opinions as well as have them listen to mine. I'm a huge fan of collaborative work and I think that has helped.

Ebube: One way I’ve been able to navigate the male-dominated space is by understanding that I do have a lot to offer and by putting myself forward and speaking up. My ideas and inputs are as important as that of the next person irrespective of whether or not they’re a man, and I’ve been privileged to work with more men that advocate for this as well. I’ve also gotten to work with some amazing women in Web3 and that has helped too.

Any advice for early-stage female professionals just getting into Web3?

Jennifer:  First, don’t be carried away by the noise. There is a lot of it out there. Define your path and know where you’re going. Second, when you feel lost, reach out, REACH OUT. I cannot overemphasize this. Have someone that you can always reach out to that’s higher than you. Third, have an accountability partner that is also on a similar journey with you. Surround yourself with like minds. Fourth, be conscious of the information you let in. Some people are out there trying to dissuade you and make you feel less. Let go of the imposter syndrome and speak up, provide solutions where you can, don’t allow yourself to be pushed to the back.

Jowho: Do it. Even though it might be confusing, painful and exhausting, just do it.

Ebube: Firstly, be curious. there’s always something new in this space and it can be difficult to keep up. So you have to be intentional about learning things. Secondly, have a “can-do” attitude. Believe that you can do anything you set your mind to do even if it seems difficult at first. Thirdly, surround yourself with the right people by seeking them out. People who can help you on your journey and people you can learn from and lastly, play to your strengths and be consistent. It’s also okay to not have it all figured out when you start. No one has it all figured out. Just enjoy the journey.

What are some resources you use to stay up to date with relevant information in this fast-changing Web3 space?

Jennifer: I read and still read. There is a lot of information out there and resources too. In the Web3 space, you can also reach out to people via DMs and they’re always ready to help.

Jowho: I read blogs, Twitter, and I follow sites that post news on the space. Product Hunt, Binance academy, and Coinmarketcap are also helpful. I tend to look out for new DAOs and DeFis mostly as most of them have a problem that they are using the blockchain to solve or upgrade.

Ebube: I follow a lot of Web3 accounts on Twitter and Instagram and I’m also in a number of telegram groups as well. When I hear a new term that’s important, I read about it. I also take courses and rely on White Papers, Aliens App, Coinmarketcap, and YouTube.

Amazing! Thanks so much for speaking to us today. Really appreciate the wealth of wisdom that you have shared. We celebrate you today and hope that other women are inspired when they read this.

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