IWD 2022: #BreaktheBias around women in tech

Grazac Innovation Hub
6 min readMar 7, 2022
International Women’s Day 2022

Every year on the 8th of March, women celebrate International Women’s Day; a day dedicated to honoring women and their accomplishments around the world.

There’s always a theme released every year around women-related issues to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias and it could not have come at a better time.

Bias against women has been a long and unending argument that has started as early as the 19th century and women are still facing the effects of bias to this day. Bias is still very much present and prevalent in almost every facet of our lives.

Bias is an unreasonable inclination to prefer a person, group, or thing over another and to favor that person, group, or thing. There are numerous types and forms of bias, however, in this article, we will be looking at bias in the tech industry and how to break that bias as a woman.

Gender Bias and the Tech Industry

Gender bias is a tendency to prefer and favor one gender over another, it is the preferential treatment a gender (usually men) receives over the other gender.

Gender bias is everywhere in the professional setting, regardless of the fact that women have made valuable contributions and representation in the workplace, women are still far from equality between themselves and their male counterparts. The tech industry, however, is not exempted from this.

The National Centre for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) released data in 2015 that women hold only 25% of IT jobs.

A study by AnitaB.org released data in 2020 that the overall representation of women in tech is 28.8%.

Although this statistic is staggering and disappointing, we still have women who have managed to make it big in tech regardless of gender bias or discrimination.

Women like Susan Wojcicki (CEO of YouTube), Odun Eweniyi (Co-founder of Piggyvest), Adora Nwodo (Software Engineer at Microsoft), Ada Lovelace (World’s First Computer Programmer), Ada Nduka Oyom (Founder of She Code Africa), Ire Aderinokun (Cofounder of Buycoins), Reshma Saujani (Founder, CEO of Girls Who Code), and many more are tech giants to reckon with in today’s world.

Inspiring stories of two women #breakingthebias in tech

Susan Wojciki

Susan Diane Wojicki is the CEO of YouTube and she has been in the tech industry for 20 years. Her entry into the tech industry is not as conventional as you might think as she did not have a basic knowledge of tech. Susan studied History and Literature at Havard University and has a masters degree in economics, who would have thought she will eventually end up in tech.

In a podcast with Steven D. Levitt and Matt Hickey, she said that an introductory class in computer science which she took in school sparked her interest in tech, in fact, she was going ahead to do her PhD in economics when she decided she wanted to go into tech and that is when her life changed.

As the universe will have it, opportunity came knocking on her door, literally when she rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, she was hired to be the marketing manager of Google even though she did not know anything about marketing or how to make a brand become global, but she did not let that stop her, she went in with head full of ideas.

She is part of the founding team for Google, she made a lot of contributions to help build Google. One of the major things she did was to convince the co-founders of google to buy YouTube, then it seemed like an insane idea to buy YouTube when they already had Google videos. Google eventually bought YouTube for $1.65billion, Today, YouTube is worth more than $190 billion. She became the CEO of YouTube in 2014 and from there she has been named as one of the most powerful women in the tech industry.

Women Breaking The Bias

Odunayo Eweniyi

Odunayo is a Nigerian, she is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Piggy vest, she was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Her journey into tech was fast as she had a foundational knowledge of tech due to her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Covenant University.

The 27-year-old woman has been in the tech industry for 5 years plus has founded and co-founded start-ups in Nigeria, she is the founder of FirstCheck Africa, a female-led & female-focused angel fund and investor community; she is also the co-founder of PushCV, an online recruitment platform that connects applicants to recruiters.

Odunayo is an advocate for women as she founded the Feminist Coalition and also encourages women to take advantage and go into tech.

In an interview with Tech Women Lagos, she urged women to get into the tech, saying:

“it’s your space and your industry too, and we’re privileged and honoured to be paving the way for you, so do it. For so long, women have deferred to societal norms and practices that dictate that technology is for men. It’s not. Women are doing amazing in tech, maybe even better than men. So, please come on board, follow your dreams! I wish I’d known then what I was capable of, you know? I’ve pretty much learnt anything and everything, and honed the skills I needed by myself. When I started, I thought it was impossible, probably because there were not enough women just breaking down the barriers. I consider it an honour to be here, in tech, doing what I’m doing today; and I desperately want to see more women and girls just come into their own”.

Tech is the future, a career in tech is being part of something big, working to improve the quality of life of people globally, that is why this international women’s day theme couldn’t have come at a better time. It is not enough to be aware that bias exists, on International Women’s Day and beyond, we must all take action collectively to #BreakTheBias.

The tech industry is booming and there are various opportunities to be part of something bigger than yourself, women should be included in this as well. Whether you have a background in tech or not, whether your degree is tech-related or not; you can kickstart your career in tech today. Look at Susan, her educational background did not hinder her, she came from an Arts & Humanities background and now she’s one of the most powerful women in tech.

You don’t have to be restricted to coding, there are tons of tech skills you can embrace that require no coding at all. Here, we’ve compiled a long list of tech skills you can choose from today.

There is no boundary to which you can succeed and fly high as a woman. It can be discouraging sometimes because of the lack of inclusiveness of women in some industries, however, that should not stop you from following your dream and flying high in tech.

Imagine a world that is gender-equal, a world free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, a world that is gender inclusive, equitable, and diverse. We need to create this world we imagine for ourselves.

As you celebrate International Women’s Day today, you are encouraged to #breakthebias today and every day of your life.

Remember to give a clap, drop a comment and share with the females around you.

Written by: Deborah Oladele and Sesiemma