Bisola Alabi, the CEO of Heels and Tech, did not study computer science or engineering as a major in college. But she has carved out a career in what is perceived as a male-dominated industry, developing a strong interest in building people and technology products.

your company, heels and technologyprovides an experiential e-learning platform with real-time instructors, where African women come to learn technical business skills with a 92% increase in career advancement, job retention and employability skills.

In this interview, Bisola talks about how she developed her career and why there are fewer women in the industry. She also identifies the mistakes that a woman in the industry should avoid and, at the same time, offers them solutions.

NM: You didn’t study computer science/technology or any other engineering course in college. How did you find yourself in the tech industry?

It is true that I never studied technology or engineering in school. In fact, I graduated as an Economist from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. After graduating from college, I found myself interning at tech companies: job booking sites and hotel booking sites, where I set up departments and managed teams in marketing. These companies were called startups and were not as mainstream as banks and consulting firms. This sparked my interest in technology and led me to apply to a major multinational tech company called Oracle, where I worked as a CRM consultant before motherhood called me. I had to carve out time to be practical.

NM: How did you find Heels and Tech?

After leaving the corporate scene, I took time to raise my children and care for my family. In it
Deep down, I noticed that a lot of women wanted to transition into the tech space, but found it difficult.
There were so many myths and ceilings to disprove. Most of the myths back then were that the technology was mostly about coding. I’ve worked in tech all my life and never touched a line of code. There were so many tech jobs that weren’t coding. Also, as a new mom of young children, she knew the challenges women faced. So I thought, why not create a safe space for women where they can gain technical skills to earn more? That’s how I founded Heels & Tech. Also, since tech is now the new oil, for those who want to transition to tech in hopes of landing a tech job in a developed country, we also train them.

NM: Can you highlight some of the achievements of the training strategy that your company has adopted so far?

I am a supporter of closing the gender gap between women and technology, and I can say that we are
responsible for the successful transition of more than 100 women to the technology industry and currently
training many more.

Our students now work at global companies such as Amazon USA, RBC Canada, Accenture, TD Bank,
Auvenir, UBA, etc.

We have a combined 30k+ community across different channels from 22 countries. Gaining technology skills has helped our women remain marketable and relevant and increased their earnings by $8.07 million and counting.

NM: The tech industry seems to be dominated by men, especially in third world countries like Nigeria. Why is this the case and what can be done to get more women involved?

I think this is because of a lack of awareness. Many people believe that technology is new, which is not true. Technology has been around for a long time, but in the past, a woman would rather become a baker and a housewife, rather than decide to acquire technical skills. All this is not her fault, since the foundation was not laid correctly. Think of high schools where boys are asked to work on technical skills while girls cook in the labs. All these experiences shape the girl and if the care is not careful, she starts making her career decisions there and there. In Africa, it is even worse since the girl must be in the kitchen.

Lack of mentoring is also a big problem, if you don’t see people who look like you in a
space, you will not aspire to be like them.

Technophobia is also another problem. Women believe that technology is difficult, which is not true. Women have done harder things like pushing a baby and taking care of small children. So what can be more difficult than that?

Women, just like men, deserve the same growth opportunities to thrive in technology. Whether you are a woman or a man, you should be treated fairly. No one should deprive him of the opportunity to learn the tech skills he loves or do the tech work he loves.

Bisola Alabi

However, I have to say that the gender gap in the tech industry is closing, but not half as fast as before.
should. Although most tech roles are held by men, and they make up a larger number in tech
establishments This is not just a problem in Nigeria, but a global problem. fixing what is
Responsible for the huge gender gap in technology isn’t that easy, but it’s rooted in the misconception that careers like engineering are too hard for women. And since the technology has its roots in engineering, this seems to have affected how recruiters, trainers, and society viewed women interested in technology.

Discrimination against women interested in technology has been diluted. But, even if there is now less discrimination against women interested in technology, there is still work to be done to close the gender gap.

NM: What would be your advice to companies to close this gap?

The representation of women in the IT field should be prioritized and actively sought. And I’m sure it won’t just happen. One strategy is to firmly establish the idea that the goal of all new companies and projects is equal opportunities for men and women. Another is to constantly monitor and increase the representation of women in leadership roles.

Tech companies in Nigeria and across Africa must strive to achieve gender equality. This is crucial in
Closing the alarming gender gap in technology. Women should also be receptive to opportunities to acquire these technological skills and join communities of other women working or considering careers in

NM: Can you share some mistakes preventing women in tech from helping them thrive in this male-dominated industry?

One is not to be part of a technological community. There’s a quote we love at Heels and Tech: “Alone, we can do very little; together, we can do a lot.” Working in a male-dominated industry can mean you find it hard to fit in. Gaining support from like-minded women who are thriving in the world of tech could boost your morale.

There are many benefits you get from joining a female tech community. You can get advice and support from expert women, or you can also find out how to negotiate your salary and balance work with your family and personal life.

Plus, you can gain access to exclusive career opportunities that you wouldn’t normally have access to, if you’re looking for other career roles in technology. The list is endless.

Another mistake is being disorganized. When you are disorganized, your employer and the entire team dislike you. You even make it sound like you don’t have an iota of knowledge of what you’re doing.

Not knowing your strength is also another mistake.

Your strengths can propel you into a state of flux, where challenge and fascination intersect and you lose track of time. Not knowing what your strengths are can lead you to unnecessarily compare yourself to others and belittle your abilities. One way out is to talk with trusted family, friends, and colleagues about their perceptions of your strengths.

The last mistake I want to talk about is not negotiating salary.

Many times women make the mistake of not negotiating their salary, probably because they have
They have been looking for a job for too long, are indifferent about it, or are desperate to find jobs. That is why one must know their value as a technician, understand their position in the market and look for roles that offer what they need and deserve.

NM: What are some of the challenges women in tech face?

They vary and include socioeconomic issues. Women spend 75 percent of their time on housework, instead of spending it on productive and mentally stimulating things, raising children, and raising funds for a quality education.

Another is the lack of support from their spouses and the lack of mentors.

NM: How can you overcome these challenges?

Women need to start learning to delegate and not burn out because there is so much important work to do.

Also, they need to start intentionally investing in their growth and finding people who can help them.

NM: In a situation where employers are excluding women in the tech space, particularly in leadership roles, how can they get more recognition?

They must talk and learn to build strategic alliances as mentors and sponsors in their

NM: What would be your advice to a young job seeker in terms of how to prepare for relevant jobs in a tech industry?

My advice would be to first get mentors that you can look up to. Second, get as many skills, whether on YouTube, online, or in boot camps, like ours. And then finally decide the path you want to follow. But to tell you the truth, as a young job seeker, it is absolutely normal to feel confused as an incumbent, but as time goes by, you will figure out the best place for you.