Interviews, North America

Jumoke Dada – Technology Consultant at Signature RED and Founder of the Tech Women Network

Creating tools for women in technology – I’ve always liked being a problem solver, creating community, and making a difference in my own small way. But one day a woman asked me why I didn’t put my name on something and told me to stop hiding because I was doing great work. Her advice stuck with me. Who knew that a few years later I’d be inspiring other women to come from behind-the-scenes?

Jumoke Dada holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Sciences and real estate certification from Temple University. She is also a certified Scrum Master. Her technical experience includes corporate work as an application developer. As the principal of Signature RED, she provides tech consulting services to companies and is creating tools for women in technology. The Tech Women Network – an online platform for women with technical skills – is one of her creations.

In a nutshell, tell us a bit about your job, and what role technology plays in it?

I am a technology consultant and entrepreneur. As the principal of Signature RED LLC and founder of the Tech Women Network, I am contracted to provide tech project management consulting services. Additionally, I create tools, products and experiences for women with careers in technology.

Stop hiding.

Technology plays a major role in my work. I do everything from manage technology-based projects to teaching women how to leverage technology to propel their careers. I created the Tech Women Network – an online platform for technical women – because I saw a need to create a community for women technologists. Now is an exciting time to be a woman in tech so I think it’s beneficial for women to gather and share resources.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

My journey began in college. Before I graduated, I accepted a job with a HR and actuarial consulting company formerly called Towers Perrin. I graduated in May and started work in June. My first job was as Technology Specialist where I was a developer responsible for maintaining a web-based call tracking system for the company’s international help desk. From there I moved into other roles in corporate I.T. including being business and systems analyst, and technical project manager. Eventually, I went through a period of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my career and if I wanted to move back to NY. When there was a massive layoff at one of my companies, I received a package and I saw it as an opportunity to do something different instead of looking for another job in I.T. I decided to give entrepreneurship a try and started Signature RED. Initially, I focused on event marketing for women, but I ended up coming full circle and working tech. Fast forward… I was hired for a short-term tech project which led to additional contracts and I shifted my general events for women to tech events.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

The cloud. Over the years, I had the opportunity to work on a few cloud-based projects and it was interesting to see how teams, practices, and policies shifted because of its existence.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that? Using your own words, why do we need women-focused groups in the tech community?

It will take a lot of time and work but in order to change the statistics, more girls must be exposed to the possibilities of careers in technology while they are young. In my case, I didn’t have an email address and I barely used a computer prior to college but I ended up studying computer information sciences. Imagine the possibilities if I had been exposed earlier in life? But getting girls interested early on is just one aspect. Eventually, girls become women which means that they will need to earn a living and work. Therefore, I believe that another thing that needs to change is that there has to be an intentional commitment to train, recruit, and retain women in tech in the workplace.

To answer your other question, I believe that we need women-focused tech groups for support and resources. I’m a member of a few communities and I appreciate it when people share information about job opportunities at their companies. I love to see women help women.

I love to see women help women. Iron sharpens iron so I also think it’s great to have safe spaces where women can ask for help.

Iron sharpens iron so I also think it’s great to have safe spaces where women can ask for help. Some women are great networkers, some are not. Some are great speakers, some are not. Some are excellent interviewers, some are not. Some are great salary negotiators, some are not. So it’s important for women to know where they can go to glean from other women or ask for help.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

Game changers.

Who are your tech influencers and why?

There are so many women that have made major accomplishments and so many rising stars today but I would say:

Dr. Sandra K. Johnson because I had the opportunity to interact with her for the inaugural HUE Tech Summit and I found her authenticity, confidence, and intellect to be very captivating.

Kimberly Bryant because I love the impact that she is making through Black Girls Code.

Valeisha Butterfield-Jones because I love how she reinvents herself then dominates in an industry. She went from working in entertainment and politics to becoming an exec at a major tech company. She has the golden touch.

Neha Narkhede because I interviewed her for an article and learned so much about how she went from being a technologist who solved a problem at a company to turning her solution into a business and becoming her own boss. Innovation paid off for her.

What has been the greatest piece of advice you have received in your career so far?

Stop hiding.

I didn’t always want to put my name on my work or get credit for my ideas. I didn’t care much about having the spotlight on me. I’ve always liked being a problem solver, creating community, and making a difference in my own small way. But one day a woman asked me why I didn’t put my name on something and told me to stop hiding because I was doing great work. Her advice stuck with me. Who knew that a few years later I’d be inspiring other women to come from behind-the-scenes? #NoMoreHiddenFigures

If you could host a dinner party with 3 influential people in tech, who would you invite and why?

Whew! That’s a hard call. I love to bringing people together for good food and convo so this question is a tough one. I would say that in addition to the women influencers that I’ve already mentioned, I would love to have dinner with Guy Kawasaki (because he is a genius), Elon Musk (because he is an innovator), and Arlan Hamilton (because she is resilient).

Jumoke Dada holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Sciences and real estate certification from Temple University. She is also a certified Scrum Master. Her technical experience includes corporate work as an application developer. As the principal of Signature RED, she provides tech consulting services to companies and is creating tools for women in technology. The Tech Women Network – an online platform for women with technical skills – is one of her creations.

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