7 Women Embracing Equity in the African Proptech Industry

From their jobs as co-founders, marketing gurus, product leads, engineers, researchers, etc., these seven women have proved that their groundbreaking work has birthed and formed the proptech industry into what it is today.

7 Women Embracing Equity in the African Proptech Industry

When it comes to ensuring that glass ceilings are shattered for women and equity is achieved across the board in the African proptech industry, the conversation won't be complete without the contribution of these women.

From their jobs as co-founders, marketing gurus, product leads, engineers, researchers, etc., these seven women have produced groundbreaking work that has contributed to forming what the African proptech industry is today.

For International Women's Day 2023, we asked them a few questions about what equity means to them and how they've embraced it in their workspace.

Daniella Ajala β€” COO/Co-founder, Spleet Africa

What does equity mean to you, and how does it affect your leadership style?

Equity provides individuals with the right resources and opportunities to empower and enable effective work. It's levelling out the playing field so that all individuals can work actively towards success. In practice, as a leader, it means having to assess every team member as an individual and empowering each of them with the tools they need.

What has your journey as COO/Co-founder at one of the leading proptechs been like?

It has been a very rewarding journey. It started with the team trying to figure out how to navigate the industry and build products that were fit for purpose. Along the way, the company's needs grew, the team expanded, and we steered the company with more staff. Seeing people settle in, grow in their roles, and accomplish more is one of my favourite things.

What's a highlight in your career that you're very proud of?

There are so many highlights. Every year just gets better and better. However, I'm very proud of the ratio of women to men within the company. It's an almost even split. That says a lot for a technology company in the real estate market. Usually, these areas are male-dominated, but we intentionally created a balance.

Sethebe Manake β€” Founding Director, GoSmartValue

How do you embrace equity in your career?

Understanding that everyone brings different skills and unique contributions to the table/ partnership and organisation, and meeting them at their uniqueness and not expecting the same result from all while allowing excellence in all its forms.

Please share a glass ceiling moment and how you handled it.

It has to be a quiet moment when I realised that what Gosmartvalue does is changing the real estate landscape in a significant way and embracing that I am causing a dent in the universe that cannot be denied.

Who's a woman that's changed your life, directly or indirectly?

My mother recently retired, and how she has embraced the change and is revelling in it, doing absolutely anything she wants to do when she wants to, has given me the most recent change in outlook. To find freedom in our passions and not be bound to them.

Oluwatofunmi Alo β€” Marketing and Communications Lead, Spleet Africa

How are more ways you want to see leaders embrace equity?

I'll like to see more diversity in senior leadership. And by that, I don't mean token inclusion - oh, let's have one woman to balance the numbers out, but a system that actively supports and encourages women to push for promotions and more senior positions.

Who's a woman whose life has changed yours, whether directly or indirectly?

Honestly, I can't say there's one woman. There are a lot of women whose careers inspire me. My mom, Damilola Odufuwa, Bidemi Zakariyau, Bozoma Saint-John, Chantal Rochelle, Jasmyn Lawson, and Melani Perkins. How can I forget? Beyonce.

What's a career moment you're very proud of?

I'm very proud of the all-women marketing team I've built at Spleet. They are such brilliant, resourceful and creative superstars.

Tilda Mwaiβ€” Research Associate, Estate Intel

What does equity mean to you?

Equity, for me, is simply enabling access to opportunities, resources and rewards to all so that individuals can seamlessly deliver on what they are supposed to do.

Who's a feminist figure you look up to, and why?

I really don't have a singular figure that I look up to. Throughout my life, I've been privileged to stand on the shoulders of different women. Their sheer hard work, consistency and ability to make a difference in their spheres of influence have always motivated me.

What do you love the most about your job?

That I get to shape the narrative for real estate in Africa.

Adebisi Borokinni β€” Co-founder & Senior Product Lead, Keble

How do you embrace equity in your career?

I have been extremely lucky and blessed to work with amazing women and men. I have always believed that everyone deserves a chance to grow and be the best version of themselves, which means providing opportunities to anyone to show what they can do. Working with open-minded founders and creating an environment for people to thrive in excellence and be rewarded for that excellence are ways I manage equity in my career.

What's a career moment you're most proud of?

This is a very interesting question; my proud moment was reading the testimonial of a Keble user, who, because of access to stable returns from the different real estate assets she invested in through Keble, could complete her master's fees and go for her master's. I felt so proud of what we have built in Keble. We help people grow wealth and live their dreams at their Own Pace.

Who's a woman that's changed your life, whether directly or indirectly?

It is hard to pick just one woman who has recently changed or directly impacted me. Here are my top two β€” Oyin Soleb; MD of ARM Lagos Techstars, and Bode Abifarin, COO of Flutterwave.

In the past few months, these above women have taught me to reach for the sky because there is room for me. With their lives, they have shown me how possible it is to set and achieve my goals in business and my personal life.

Ayomikun Emmanuel β€” Software Engineer, Spleet Africa

What does equity mean to you?

Equity, to me, is knowing that space is available for me in the industry that I am in.

What's it like working in a male-dominated industry?

Working in a male-dominated industry has been fun and challenging. My first job made me realise that this industry is where I can excel and perform well because my male colleagues were always ready to help and go to any length to work with me to solve any challenging task. This industry has expanded my research, and learning skills and helped my networking skills.

If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?

For now, I don't think I have anything I'll like to change.

Oyindamola Olumodeji β€” Head Of Sales And Partnerships, CutStruct

What does embracing equity mean to you?

Embracing equity to me is gender equality, dignified respect irrespective of gender, and opportunities for women to be in places of power and authority. Women and men should be open to the same options.

Please share a glass ceiling moment and how you handled it.

A glass ceiling moment for me is being the Head of Sales and Partnership in the pioneer proptech company, Cutstruct. It is believed that a man should fill the role because of how commercialised it is. Given that this is a male-dominated industry, I have been able to handle this by putting in the extra work and ensuring my skills, expertise, and experiences come into play.

Who's a woman that's changed your life directly or indirectly?

My mother. I learnt resilience, hard work, and never giving up from her.

Embracing equity is everyone's job, and on this IWD, these women have shown us how they've achieved that by creating space for African women in the proptech industry.