Inside Moni

Being a Finance Lead & Working Remotely In Tech

March 9, 2022

Being a Finance Lead & Working Remotely In Tech
Deborah Oladapo, Finance Lead @ Moni.

Before MONI, I was doing the regular 8 am — 6 pm, Mondays to Fridays from the hidden corners in Ogba to Victoria Island every day. Scary right? The yellow buses were always filled up every morning — I remember always wondering if anyone in this Jungle slept at all? Then the constant traffic. I hated the drive. Heck, it wasn’t a drive. More like mini nervous wrecks.

When COVID-19 hit and I saw how quickly the world was embracing technology with open arms, I longed for a remote job. A place where I won’t experience the everyday Lagos traffic, where I’d do great work and a place that would allow me to be the badass I think I am. With all the struggle as a Lagos babe, the qualifications, climbing the career ladder, I finally made it to MONI as the first Finance Lead…Hooooooorayyy!!!

I remember during my interview, our CEO, Femi asked if I have been involved in fundraising before (in my mind, I was like I am not a Marketer oh lol) I didn’t have any close proximity with the tech startup world but somehow he knew I would be able to pull the essential principles of finance I already knew and learn how they work in this new world.

Moni took a chance on me. It’s a story I am looking forward to sharing on different platforms and telling my grand-babies. That chance has brought me here now. I look at myself now and I’m just amazed at how much I know, I’ve learned and I’ve done since I joined Moni.

I can tell you working as a tech woman in a start-up is not easy. I love it here because the pace of a startup environment is wild. I get to learn and use different tools like Notion, Slack, Panda, Retool, Google suite, and a lot more to be productive. I never heard about these tools until MONI!

We also meet physically sometimes, and when we do, it’s good work and hard fun as much, special treats courtesy of Femi, Dapo, or Adebola (#MBB — MONIBigBoys). I return home relaxed, ready to move the next day because life has been made easy.

There was a time when female education or women in the workplace was a rare sight to see but now the tides have turned. Society is learning that women aren’t the ‘weaker vessels’ and they can be as skilled, valuable, and resourceful as men can be. There are women on Company Boards, founding startups, investing in companies, building multiple businesses, and trying their hands on different vestures in different sectors.

You probably know Ada Lovelace — the first woman computer programmer, Facebook COO — Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO — Susan Wojcicki, Toyosi Adebusuyi, the superwoman intern at Moni, and lots more.

But even with all these, gender equality is still a far-away dream.

In 2021, the proportion of women in leadership roles within financial services firms was a mere 24% and is projected to grow to 28% by 2030; 9 whole years to achieve another 4%. But something exciting also happening is that for every woman added to the C-suite in an organization, three women rise to senior leadership roles. This is known as the multiplier effect and this phenomenon is one of the most important reasons why financial services firms should bolster efforts to achieve gender equity.

As the Finance lead at MONI, I am saddled with ‘hooge’ responsibilities, and we know Finance and money matters are pivotal to any organization. My morning routine is quite simple: wake up, pray, pick up my laptop to allay my onus for the day, and leave room for unexpected tasks that could sprout up as the day goes by and this is what being a Lead feels like.

As the Finance Lead, I am expected to be on top of my game and make the right decisions that benefit the company and contribute to its growth. A very important thing to note is that my colleagues are always there when I need them. When I feel like the weight of work is pulling me down, all I have to do is take a very chilled cup of tea and jump on a 5–10 minute call with Adebola Adeniran, who is our People & Growth Lead and I am ready to go again.

Working remotely (which some refer to as unserious work) has been quite favourable as I do not have to spend time in traffic or deal with the stress to commute. There’s an extra flexibility culture that comes with the remote work terrain and it isn’t just about how you spend your time. There’s extra flexibility in creative freedom and self-leadership. I see all these as benefits while I focus on dealing with the usual psychological, mental, emotional, and societal stresses of being a woman. I do all of these without dropping the ball at any point in time. I can never be caught 'unfresh' or slacking. I have mastered the art efficiency and productivity; thanks to working remotely, a great work culture at Moni, and to me, of course.

Word on the streets is that tech companies have male-centric cultures and hire men over women regardless of skills and experience, therefore, making it difficult for women to pursue their careers and nurture the family simultaneously, and a solution is a Remote Work culture. With this flexibility, women have equal rights to excel in the Tech space and compete vehemently in the industry.

It feels so surreal, and I am happy that I got this Opportunity as a WOMAN as we see most Finance departments in our contemporary offices today being chaired by MEN. Good, but who says WOMEN can’t SET IT, ROLL IT, FIX IT, KILL IT in the Finance World.

Thank you, MONI!!!…for believing and showing the world what women can …

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