Bilikisu Aderinto’s bio
Bilikisu Aderinto is a Business Data Analyst and a Managing Partner at Business Data Laboratory in Abuja, Nigeria.
She had a Masters of Science in Information Technology (Software Engineering) from the University of Liverpool, UK. She had her first Bachelors’ Degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. While pursuing her undergraduate study she was introduced to Computer Science.
After completing her first degree, she continued her quest into knowing more about software development and eventually got a career opportunity as a software developer with Conceptual Networking Limited, then Quanteq Technology Services. She moved on to become the Head of Solution Development at Global Infosystems Consulting Limited.
Her career leap in the Information Technology industry has led her into Business Analysis, Data Analytics and Data Science.
Bilikisu is the founder of Abuja R User Group and Co-founder of R ladies Abuja. She is also a registered member of the International Institute of Business Analysts.
Why did you get into STEM?
My interest in STEM started from my middle school and then my placement in the science class in my high school based on my performance in the qualifying exams. The choice of my first degree was based on my love for mathematics and chemistry.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
My greatest achievement would be completing my Master’s degree in 2011. Despite all odds, a growing family, working full time and also pregnant. It had gotten to a stage where the possibility of finishing was so slim. I had to take a break from school, delivered my baby and pushed forward to completion. It has been the most challenging time in my life but praise be to God. I never gave up.
Another achievement I would always be grateful for was starting up the Abuja R User group in which both male and female were given opportunities to learn and aspire to become data professionals working with R programming language. This was interesting looking at the low popularity the language has got in Nigeria, and more specifically, in Abuja. The success of Abuja R User Group paved the way for the creation of R Ladies Abuja to give more focus to women in the data profession.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
Actually, working in men-dominated industries like STEM has always been challenging. I remember working as a software developer in a male-dominated software development group at Quanteq Technology Services. It was tough meeting up with work demands as a woman as the male folks always had time on their hands to stay back, after close of work, to deliver on their daily work schedules. I had to close on time to meet up with my family. I had to stay up late at home to close the gap and complete my work schedule before the start of work the next day. My supervisor and male colleagues were always ready to help as well, and it was fun getting to be in their world.
I remember taking on a project that would make me stand out. While on it, my boss met me one day and said, “Bilikisu, I heard you’re exceeding expectations and working on fantastic initiatives on Microsoft SharePoint products now. That is great! Keep it up!”. It felt like I was flying in the sky with joy and this actually boosted my morale to do more.
Nigeria has risen to a stage where, as a woman in STEM, you need to create opportunities for yourself and there are fantastic men who are willing to support you in the industry. I have learnt from my years of experience in the industry that when you show your strength and grit, men (who are understanding) are always there to watch your back.
What is your advice to budding women in STEM?
My advice would be that you should always create opportunities for yourselves. Continue learning and always keep a good network of professionals with like minds – both women and men. The journey to success is not always smooth but with a strong determination to succeed, you can achieve your dreams.