Akiniyi

How did your career in tech unleash itself?
Before tech, I worked on social and economic development in Africa. While working with a multi-stakeholder nonprofit in Ghana, I realized the enormous role that the business community plays in advancing developmental goals and how technology can accelerate this impact. I then transitioned to working in financial technology because I view it as the foundation for inclusion. When we close the gap between those who have access to the formal financial services industry and those who have been left on the margins, we’re creating a more equal society.

What are your business and lifestyle rituals to stay ahead?
Centre the practice of curiosity to design a career that is not only unique and meaningful but also reduces your blind spots. When you rely on patterns, it can be easy to default to what you know and stop innovating. By remaining curious, you expose yourself to new data or different points of view which can enrich your perspective.

What books/podcasts/network/resources do you recommend for someone trying to achieve better results within their career or entrepreneurial journey?
One of my favourite books of the last year is “The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You” by Julie Zhao, which offers really useful insights on how to ask yourself and your team probing questions. I am also an avid podcast fan. Some business-focused favourites include the a16z podcast, LinkedIn’s “Hello Monday”, Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman and Without Fail.

What actions/decisions did you take that had the biggest impact on your career?
I am proactive in seeking out “peer mentors’ – people in my life who are making mistakes alongside me and sharing wins. We can learn more those with a lot of experience, but we can equally benefit from the perspectives of those learning at the same time – particularly in new industries where we’re learning to do things for the first time.

What advice do you want to give to black women entrepreneurs or professionals who to achieve more within the tech sector?
1. What do you think black women in tech should start doing?
Seek out mentors and sponsors from diverse backgrounds – within our community and beyond.

2. What do you think black women in tech should keep doing?
Lift others as we climb. Operate with an abundance mindset.

3. What do you think black women in tech should stop doing?
Don’t let your life be dictated by the limitations of someone else’s imagination.

 

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