Angela Mensah-Poku, Director of Digital and Commercial Operations at Vodafone Ghana, has urged young people who wish to excel in tech to blend hard and soft skills.
Angela gave this advice at a thought-provoking discussion hosted by MEST Africa, as part of activities to mark the 2022 Women’s History Month. The theme was: ‘Making Career Moves in Tech’.
“One thing that I have realised, especially in Tech, is that there isn’t enough focus on soft skills. So, being customer-centric, innovative, passionate, collaborative, dynamic and able to pivot quickly is key. If you have a beautiful marriage between the hard skills, emotional intelligence and human aspects of technology in what you do, you will always differentiate yourself,” she said.
She added: “Striking that wonderful balance between hard skills and soft skills is critical. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you want to move into a big organisation, bring your humanity to whatever you do and work on your emotional intelligence, collaboration, inquisitiveness and other critical soft skills”.
According to Angela, Vodafone Ghana is interested in soft skills as well, since it enables the technology communications company to innovate constantly and improve customer experience. She gave an example of how Vodafone’s Robotics Squad can collaborate effectively with other teams to develop tools and products that address customers’ needs.
She further urged participants to be curious, confident and take advantage of every opportunity.
“Be confident and put yourself out there. What is the worst that can ever happen? No one ever got fired for asking a question, having an idea or putting their hands up for something. I take advantage of every single opportunity, and this has been a running theme for my career,” she said.
Angela encouraged young girls thinking of pursuing a career in tech to embrace challenges and give their best.
“There is no substitute for hard work – whether you are male or female. I think that the work environment is also changing, and women are getting more support. Be creative and inquisitive, and I guarantee you will attract females and males who share your values and will be there for you when times get tough.”