Omowale David-Ashiru

Years in Tech


Current Role

Country Director, Nigeria, Andela

Core Skills

People Development, Business Growth

Interview Date

14th December, 2018

I am currently the Country Director at Andela Nigeria, a company that builds high-performing engineering teams by investing in Africa’s most talented software developers. I joined Andela in September 2018.

Before joining Andela, my professional career included a decade-long stint at Accenture, where I started as an Analyst, and grew to become a seasoned Management Consultant, Certified Project Manager and Senior Manager. I then moved on to establish a fashion retail company, which I managed for eight years.

I obtained a First Class B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan. I have a deep passion for people, I am an avid reader and I love adventure.

What experiences led you to technology and how did you develop the skills to compete in the industry?

I have always been interested in solving problems and creating things – which are critical skills required in technology.

I however do not describe myself as a woman in technology because I am not a technologist by training. Infact when I interviewed for my first job at a consulting company known for their technology services, I was asked by the panel if I knew much about computers. I admitted that I knew nothing! All I knew about computers was that you pressed a switch on the wall and it came on. The entire panel jointly exclaimed in shock at my computer illiteracy. Thankfully, I was still offered the job and I humbly but wisely spent my first weekend at the office, trying to figure out the world of computers. Fortunately by day three, I wasn’t an expert but I at least knew how to properly boot a computer and create a new document.

I have always probed into the way things work, trying to find the fastest, most efficient way to execute solutions, and this has always led me to technology.

My career started off with process design and re-engineering which was inextricably interwoven with technology – either to drive or support the processes – and so I got really familiar with software design and implementation from a functional perspective.

Generally I was and still am attracted to technology because of the solutions it provides – faster and more efficiently than any other alternative.

How has your background helped/differentiated you in the tech industry?

My background in Management Consulting and Business has been a tremendous differentiator because unlike brilliant tech minds focused mostly on the technology, I tend to see and aggregate every part of the technology business from product to people to price to place to promotion. That’s one of the reasons I’ve found myself leading a team of the most brilliant technology minds in Nigeria without me writing a single line of code! I did try my hands on some coding and find it very fascinating. However it’s safe to say that is definitely not my differentiator.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in technology? What do you wish you had known?

Same advice I’d give to any woman who wants to build a successful career in anything. Believe, Be bold, Break ceilings.

Any other thoughts on women in technology?

Brilliance is evenly distributed! That means it can be found in a child or adult; in a man or woman; in the streets of Lagos or in Buckingham Palace. It doesn’t discriminate by gender, race, age or geography. That’s a fact and that’s what we should always have at the back of our minds – be it in the world of technology or in the world of cooking.

Brilliance doesn’t discriminate, neither should we.