Wentors’ Insider Stories
Our Insider Stories are remarkable highlights of the lives and experiences of members of our community. We believe every woman in technology has a story to tell, one that inspires the next generation of female tech leaders in the industry.
On today’s issue, I had a conversation with Tinuade Oguntuyi, a mother, wentor, and an exceptional network and solutions expert working with
Information Connectivity Solutions Limited — ICSL.
We believe that stories have an effect on people. It’s one of the most profound ways to connect to people and also to inspire change in the world and this is the reason why we are doing this.
Tell us a bit about yourself
The Tech lady, Tinuade — is a woman passionate about growth and loves to help people around far or near succeed in their ventures. As the head of a network of network and solutions in information connectivity solutions limited (ICL) she works tirelessly to ensure client connectivity needs are met alongside IT creating solutions for new businesses. ‘I am also a mother to three boys; I call them my generals and I am married to one husband’
Tinuade describes herself as “a human that loves to see other humans thrive” and we have had a firsthand experience of that.
She described what a day-to-day activity looks like at ICL.
And beyond that, I’m also saddled with ensuring that people have access to what we call the direct Internet access.
Whereby you’re able from the comfort of your home or anywhere you are able to surf the Internet with your own unique identity or public IP address as our customer.
Beyond that, I’m also into solutions. So, it’s still my responsibility that when businesses want to spring up and they need ideas around how they would settle, especially as regards to IT, which can be surveillance, access control, etc., I’m also into the business of making that happen.
How did you start out a career in tech and what has your career path been over time?
For Tinuade, it was not a walk in the park, and she did not initially start off in tech ‘my dream growing up was to be a medical doctor, ‘When I was little, I would always ask my mom to make me a lab coat and I would wear a makeshift stethoscope and go around testing people, but the sight of blood repulsed me a little’
Although she was met with that little challenge her passion did not completely wither until she failed Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination twice.
‘My mother always believed an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and enrolled me in computer classes after I failed my second JAMB exam, I began to enjoy the lessons, and after I failed my third jamb exam, I decided to take a diploma course in computer science and eventually got into university to study computer science full time. After university, I got a place of attachment, and I got retained that is how my career started for me’
What has been your high and low points as a woman in tech?
“So far it has been a bittersweet experience” she said.
“I always say as a woman in tech, naturally, it means you have to do a lot of work to prove your worth and this is not just a Nigerian thing, it is a global fact that the tech sector is a male-dominated ecosystem and of course are changing.
When I started off, I was called under-the-table engineer because I was mainly in IT land support which basically means repairing people’s system, connecting them to the mail server and everyone looked at me like I was just in it to get my form signed they wanted to treat me like I had no passion for it.
It gets to a stage when your competence and value is put to test and questioned by every other person.
“I still have these experiences, but the rise of the internet and social media has helped people see my skill and promote my work and it took a while for people to accept me as their technical person because I am a woman, at first, this affected me but once I was able to see past that, it was all positive vibes”
We don’t believe people, especially women, should be judged on 1st basis because of their gender.
It is very underhanded and has prevented a lot of people from actually getting quality work done because they believe a certain gender is more suited to specific roles.
Did you have mentorship starting off in your career?
No honestly, I did not, I had no one to hold me up like that. I knew I looked up Funke Okpeke because when I read her stories then, I felt if this woman can do all this, I can as well, but she’s not on social media and I can’t even find a LinkedIn profile, except there is an event where she a speaker, then I can hear speak. I never had someone to show me the ropes.
How was your experience in the Wentors mentorship?
“It was an opportunity for me to give what I didn’t get early enough and there’s always that excitement for me. It made me throw all my weight into the program. One thing I was able to successfully do was leverage on individual connections and touch base with their development area even after the cohort.
I still check in on them to make sure they are sticking to plan and very soon we will be having our physical hangouts because I do not want it to stop in the cohort”
To close out our conversation, Tinuade shared a few words to encourage women interested in technology out there.
“To every lady out there, I will say you will do yourself a lot of disservice if you do not join, you have to be deliberate not to talk yourself out of relevance. Focus and pursue your goals and you will surely get there”
We are committing ourselves to tell the stories of women in our community. Every story is a flicker of light that would help a woman out there navigate her way through the technology industry.