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‘Making decisions, creating plans, strategies required for quality brand delivery’

By Sunday Aikulola
08 March 2022   |   2:41 am
Oluwatoyin Ifesanya is a businesswoman, speaker, sales and cyber security expert. She is involved in a lot of business endeavours: She is the CEO of Makintouch Consulting

Ifesanya

Oluwatoyin Ifesanya is a businesswoman, speaker, sales and cyber security expert. She is involved in a lot of business endeavours: She is the CEO of Makintouch Consulting, information technology and business management firm that is committed to helping organisations achieve their business goals and objectives through top-notch training.

Through her passion to help women become better, she also established an organisation to make access to training, professional certifications and mentorship available and accessible to women interested in becoming tech professionals. In the last two years of establishing this organisation, over 500 women have benefited, with 100 of them having access to free professional certification examinations in AWS Cloud practice.

She is an acclaimed public speaker and member of Mums in Business International, an organisation created to develop mothers and give them orientation that will help them channel their income to better use and keep their home in a peaceful and financially stable shape.

She enlightens youths and entrepreneurs on career transition, sharing various certifications, industry relevance, and benefits, with several learning highlights through her YouTube videos.

Tell us a bit about your growing up and how it influenced your personality?
While growing up, sometime in my teen years, I had visited my aunt; she had a computer back then in the ’90s, however, there were restrictions. You were not allowed to touch the computer, so, anytime she left for work, I tried my hands on it, which made me desire to further acquire a degree in computer science. Everyone was so impressed and made remarkable comments about me. Thank God I took the challenge as it taught me to be committed to any task and has pushed me forward to ensure women get to have a voice in the community and technology at large.

You are the CEO of Makintouch Consulting could you tell us about what you do?
The CEO might sound really interesting, but the truth is that it entails the most difficult part of the job, making decisions, creating plans, working on strategies that help keep the business running, and more importantly, ensuring that we maintain top-notch quality delivery. I can say the work has been pretty seamless for me, because I have the best team, which has been exceptional and committed to service delivery, and this has earned us referrals and positive feedback from our clients.

You’re also the founder of women tech in Africa (Wtech), what exactly is it about?
WtechAfrica was established in 2020. When I looked around and discovered that in my field, we had a very scanty number of women in leadership and decision making positions in many tech companies. I have always wanted more women to take advantage of technology, but it looks as though it wouldn’t be possible, but I’m glad today that WtechAfrica is now a reality, The objectives of WtechAfrica are to train and mentor women, who are interested in starting a career in tech or women who are currently in tech and are looking forward to attaining leadership positions in respective fields of technology and departments to sharpen and develop these women through mentorship, training programmes and even provide advice and answers to the questions bothering them.

What is Wtech Africa’s partnership with AWS (Amazon Web Services?)
In 2021, we wrote to AWS about our plan to help 2,000 women across Africa become certified professionals in the cloud, and this was welcomed by a positive response from AWS. Through the support of Makintouch Consulting, we were able to train 100 women in the first cohort, in December 2021. These women weren’t only trained, but they also got professional certification examinations for free. Some of them wrote their examinations and came out in flying colours. We are planning to kick off the second cohort in April 2022 alongside other projects that we have for women in tech in areas of cybersecurity, programming and others. We are looking out for individuals and brands also, who might be willing to be a part of this or sponsor other?

Do you find it challenging grooming girls into the tech space?
There are quite a lot of challenges, some of them want something that can fetch them money real quick, while others believe that what they do in tech is only programming and this has discouraged a lot of them. But through our projects and advocating for women’s inclusion in technology, we have been able to change the mentality and orientation of a good number of them and I am glad today when I see those people changing the narratives of women in the tech space.

As a professional in the field, why do you think girls naturally shy away from tech space?
Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of them shy away from tech because of the narrative that tech is a career for men, fortunately, we have more women in tech today than we used to, when I started a tech business. You can imagine carrying servers, up and down, staying late night in server rooms to get network sorted, or jumping out of bed in the dead of the night to rush to the server room to fix a problem, all these were reasons many women shy away from technology, but thank God for the cloud today, and also the emergence of new career paths that require less stress and particularly no coding because coding is another thing majority of the ladies I have met, hate doing as far as tech is concerned. Today we have a career path in product management, product design and a whole lot others. Although some ladies also shy away because of laziness, because you can’t be in tech and be lazy, new trends and initiatives are unveiled every other day, so you have to be on your toes and make sure you develop yourself and upskill every now and then.

Are there challenges you to encounter in your field that you feel could have been easier if you were a man?
Yes, there are lots of challenges, prior to now, before my brand became bigger, booking meeting slots and getting project opportunities with captains of industries was always difficult, I work in a male-dominated industry and particularly in a country where women can hardly get things done without the support of a man, or without a man asking for something else in return. I am glad that my company Makintouch Consulting has grown to where it is today that we are now servicing top private and public entities across Africa, it’s a dream come true for me, but I think it would have been faster to bring the dream to a reality I was a man. It’s been God and I must say that the support I got from some amazing men too, but in the real sense if I was a man, I would have been able to make some moves, go to some places, and don’t even have to bother about rushing home to attend to a family. My family has been very supportive and my husband has been an amazing human too, and where we are today, is also through their support.

Tell us about your upcoming projects for the girl child and women for this year 2022
We have quite a number of projects for the girl child in 2022, the Digital Cloud Transformation which we tagged “She Builds with AWS”, with the first cohort in December 2021 will continue in 2022, we have Cybersecurity Training for ladies who are interested in cybersecurity and also to train women who are entrepreneurs on how they can effectively use the modern workplace tools to upskill their business.

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