Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has said gender diversity is essential to driving digital innovations in Africa.
According to her, gender diversity in the technology space will lead to increased ground-breaking innovation – and the industry must be deliberate in creating a work culture that attracts and empowers gender diversity.
She made these remarks during a virtual fireside chat with Ericsson’s Middle East and Africa teams on diversity and inclusion, women’s empowerment, and her career journey as a female engineer.
“The tech industry is shaping technology for the future, so how can you allow just one demographic to define that technology? We cannot exclude one gender, race or different ethnic cultures when they are the people who will use it. Gender diversity is fundamental to how you thrive in innovation and how you succeed. But the industry must be very deliberate about how we include this culture at all these levels, so that we can get it right. Otherwise, we provide solutions for people thinking that is what they need while we do not even understand them.”
She also added that: “The gender diversity agenda should be driven from the top, otherwise we are not going to win. The industry must own it from the senior level. Furthermore, I think the actions we take as a tech company will show that we are very serious about it. Diversity within the tech space is no longer a choice; it has become a necessity that we must drive”.
Speaking on Vodafone’s contribution to gender diversity and women’s empowerment, Patricia said the organisation engages in rigorous projects aimed at giving young females hands-on skills in the field of technology.
“At Vodafone we spend a lot of time and money doing advocacy, and we are very deliberate about this. I have been investing my time and expertise into programmes that will increase gender participation in STEM across Africa. This is why I am very careful with the kinds of boards I choose to sit on. These include the West Africa STEM and the Global Young Academy, so that we can always present the gender and African story right. Seeing a lot more female Africans in the tech space will certainly inspire more girls,” she said.