With the successful wrap up of the African Women in Technology (AWIT) conference yesterday. We still have a long list of speakers and attendees in the interview line up. Today we introduce to your Jane Egerton-Idehen.
Jane Egerton-Idehen telecommunication executive with over 15 years’ experience in the Nigerian, Liberian and Ghanaian telecommunications markets. She holds an Engineering degree from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Warwick Business school, UK. And an Executive education from Harvard Business School.
Idehen has also worked as part of the Ericsson Ghana and Liberia executive leadership team. Where she managed the Account teams for Ericsson in Ghana and Liberia. She is also currently the country Manager Nigeria and Regional Sales Manager West Africa for a Satellite company: Avanti Communications Ltd.
Her knowledge of technology and the ability to manage complex stakeholder relationships have given her a career within the customer-facing roles in Nigeria. Her ability to manage teams and create strategy to support growth and drive businesses are key to the successes she has had so far in the industry. Below is a snipped of our interview with Idehen.
What does technology represent to you professionally?
Technology to me is a tool that improves the lives of people.
How effectively have you managed your personal and professional branding, and is one separate from the other?
My Personal brand and professional brand, though different, they are connected, intertwined or feed off each other. The main difference being in the scope.
My Professional brand is limited to my role as a Career Woman in the STEM field while my Personal Brand takes on more roles in my life ( Mother, Wife, Friend) Achievements from one part can help boost or increase the visibility of the other.
It also important to note that in today’s world even the errors or mistakes made in one can become a deterrent or dilute your brand in other aspects of your life.
How long have you been exposed to the African tech field, and how has this influenced your knowledge of technological advancement in Africa?
I have been exposed to the African tech field for about 22 years, 17 years of that was professionally. As a continent, we have come a long way, from the days were we only consumed technology or depended solely on more advanced continents for innovations and development. Now we as a continent create and export technology.
You can see that in the Mobile Money solution that took off from the telecom industry in Eastern Africa, to the Locally created E-commerce platforms built locally. With the growth of Mobile technology, the introduction of Cloud technology, Artificial intelligence, Internet of things and the evolution of hardware platforms the potential for Africa seems limitless.
As an African woman in tech, what is the most significant challenge you have faced professionally?
As an African woman who has spent with a very good understanding of this market and its Technology needs, one of the challenges has been convincing multinational Technology companies on the need to adapt their off the shelf solutions for this market in order for it to be relevant to the African Market. Somehow you get push backs, it could be a struggle at times.
How has strategic networking, both online and offline influenced your career?
The benefit of Networking I would say is priceless for anyone growing their career, especially in sales. It is a good resource path the way for you. Networking helps you build relationships that connect you to people in the industry and provides information and understanding of what is going on.
It gives you access to Mentors and coaches that can help you with your career growth. I also believe at some level it becomes a criteria for getting senior management jobs. I have been approached severally for Management roles because someone in my Network recommended me.