Generally, ingrained attitudes toward women and established gender biases have restricted some jobs to men while holding other lucrative careers at an overwhelmingly high percentage of men. This makes it difficult for women to explore, advance, let alone succeed in these careers. Nevertheless prioritizing future minded strategies over short term opportunities is one sure way to succeed in many male dominated careers. Since 2007, WAAW Foundation has been working successfully to increase the number of African women in STEM with a target of 10% increase by the year 2025.

Subsequently, with the number of women that WAAW Foundation and other collaborating organization such as W.TEC and Afro-tech girls have been able to introduce into STEM fields; we are compelled to consider the professional climate that women are facing in male dominated careers, and have come up with five strategies to halt these barriers:


The takeover of technology in almost every business sector has opened up so many doors that the line to what is possible, and impossible has become almost invisible. As a woman pioneer in the industry you’re in, you can understand the challenges faced by your sector from a gender perspective and develop a unique insight and approach toward solving it. But then don’t sit and imagine what can be, research into how you can turn your insights into strong ideas that counts and how you can use technology to execute your ideas.  Many things require deeper knowledge than we notice on the surface that it takes a proper in-depth check of what is obtainable before real life solutions emerge. With technology on the rise, learning to infuse technology into your new or existing business becomes a profitable investment. Always plan to add a bit of technology to everything around you and never ignore technology as a woman, it will make you stand out.


Explore new ventures which typically haven’t been as welcoming to women. A new market demographic could be a simple as age group, gender or even race. Shake off the old cover of “these aren’t meant for women.” Women are no second class, not less smart and do not require any other skill different from what the men require. So when next you feel you are not capable for a field or no woman has ventured into the particular area of technology that’s your opportunity to be first! Don’t miss it! They are new because you haven’t tried them. Think about that thing that looks unwelcoming, challenge yourself and welcome buy provigil online pharmacy yourself into the world of risk taking.


Professional certification plays a significant role in market maturity, and will play an even greater role in distinguishing an individual. You can convince yourself and maybe people you work with that you are a professional, but that’s just your claim without any proof whatsoever. You cannot be the yardstick to judge your own work and your friends are not experts enough to know. Subject your knowledge to test, let professionals judge how far you have come. You need to let the world know you can do it from afar without anybody knowing you before. Certified women will play a larger role in the tech world and they will have better confidence to compete on a global page.


In a world of unequal opportunity, gender imbalance and inequality, innovation has become central to the survival of many women. As a woman struggling to stand out in a male dominated career, there are immense opportunities in your challenges, therefore look inward, be intuitive and start innovating! By the virtue of your gender, you are more innovative than your male counterpart in the same field due to your receptiveness thoughtfulness. The art of negotiating, the art of fashion and the likes are mostly women affairs and as such makes the woman culture rich enough to bring up innovation and style. It really doesn’t have to be something new as an innovation, creating a new twist to an existing method, style or procedure can spring up innovations. Looking around and creating easier ways of doing things especially things that increase the advantage of women to grasp technology the more and make life easier.


As rivals try to outdo one another, and end up competing solely on the basis of incremental improvements in cost or quality or both, creating a totally new niche is a better approach to competition and a fail proof strategy to stand out. Always leverage on your uniqueness as a woman, remembering that if they don’t have what you have, you simply stand tall above their competition. People seek unique solutions to everyday problems and solving that problem in your own way will attract value to you. Remember new does not mean it never existed before, it may mean a little twist to improve efficiency or a complete line of thought to providing solution to an existing challenge. Therefore, in order to stand out, bring in your uniqueness and stand tall above others.

Unoma Okorafor

Dr. Unoma Okorafor is the founder of WAAW Foundation. She is a passionate social entrepreneur committed to empowering girls in African through STEM focused education.

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