Women in Tech: VBank Upskills 1000 Women to Bridge Gender Skills Gap

Gbenga Omolokun of VBank

In alignment with its commitment to tackling the scourge of unemployment by bridging the gender skills gap and helping more women embrace technology, no fewer than 1,000 girls and women from 28 Nigerian states have graduated from the inaugural edition of Women in Tech Nigeria’s Makeathon sponsored by leading digital financial services platform, VBank.

The 1,000 beneficiaries of the maiden edition of the Makeathon initiative took part in a four-month free, capacity-building, digital literacy exercise which began in March 2022 and ended in June 2022.

Some of the participants

They were equipped with digital, deep tech, and soft skills including Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, Data Analytics, Product Management, and Software Programming to build their tech competencies and enable them to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

The Makeathon initiative goes beyond upskilling girls and women between the ages of 18 to 45 years with requisite tech skills to seeking internship opportunities for them in leading technological organisations in Nigeria and abroad.

Thus far, more than 10 tech global firms have committed to offering some of the beneficiaries internship opportunities to put their skills to the test.

To provide intensive skills training for the beneficiaries, Women in Tech Nigeria partnered with Cybersafe Foundation, Girl Code Academy, and The Nest Incubation Hub.

Speaking during the graduation event held in Lagos on Friday, July 15, 2022, Solape Akinpelu, the Country Manager, Women in Tech Nigeria, and Co-Founder, HerVest, said; “We are delighted to help girls and women who have a desire to get into tech roles build their tech competencies in such a short time. We are proud of their commitment to learning, which is a testament to their dedication and resolves. We are pleased that we are changing the narratives and have added to the growing number of women equipped with tech skills who can go on to become champions in different sectors.”

In his remarks, Gbenga Omolokun, the Managing Director, VFD Microfinance Bank (VBank), said; “We are proud of the graduands and how far they have come to be here today. We are pleased to be associated with an initiative that is committed to bridging skills and economic gender gaps in society. It is inspiring to have women with zero skills in tech come into the space to learn and showcase their talents. We are committed to this initiative and will continue to do this to help more women embrace tech roles.”

Also speaking during the graduation ceremony, Ayumi Moore, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Women in Tech Global, said; “These women whom we are celebrating today have been equipped with digital skills they can deploy across sectors. We are proud to have contributed to helping 1,000 women gain employable skills they can use to drive the growth of the tech ecosystem.”

Expressing her fulfillment at the completion of her Cybersecurity program, Grace Emmanuel who was hacked multiple times over two years said where she lost her savings said; In January 2022, I told a friend that I was going into tech, but I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted. Getting into the Makeathon program was a dream come true as I learned so much about information security, networking, web applications, the fundamentals, and levels of cyber protection. The learning was impactful, and I am grateful for this opportunity.”

Another beneficiary of the VBank sponsored programme, Okosun Elizabeth who got training in Software Programming said; “When I got the opportunity to learn Software Programming, I was super excited because programming was a course, I wanted to learn but couldn’t get the opportunity. At first, I thought I wouldn’t understand the whole magic behind coding but when classes started, coding became a walk in the park. Thank you, Women in Tech Nigeria and VBank, for this wonderful opportunity.”

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