Oluwaseun F., 30 – FUNDED

Oluwaseun F.’s dream passion project is to have a research center with world-class researchers in tech who provide quality solutions for electrical problems ranging from vehicular communications technology, to bionic limbs (exoskeletons, prosthetics) for people with stroke and motor disadvantages, to human-robotics interactions. Her goal for this center would also be partnerships with various organizations to actualize the need for these technologies both in developing countries and the world at large — and hopefully improving the quality of human life.

“I aspire to be a part of the next wave of innovation, driving positive change and shaping the future through technology,” she says. “I want to empower the next generation by sharing my experiences, providing guidance, and creating pathways for success. By doing so, I hope to inspire others to pursue their passions in tech and realize their full potential.”

What an incredible vision from this New Face of Tech winner!

Her impressive educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she is originally from, along with a master’s degree in Advanced Control and Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester. She also has a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock — specifically, in the field of Telecommunications Engineering with a focus on vehicle communications.

“I aim to continue my research in this field and ensure transport safety in the U.S., while simultaneously working on my passion project,” she says.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It holds immense significance as it stands for representation, especially for my fellow African women aspiring to excel in the field of technology. It is a powerful message that there are no limits to the heights they can reach and the impact they can make.

I want to be a living testament that their dreams are valid, and they have every right to pursue their passions in this industry.

As the New Face of Tech, I aim to be a beacon of inspiration for women who may feel discouraged or isolated, reminding them that they are exceptional and capable of great things. Even if they find themselves as the only woman in the room, they possess unique perspectives, skills, and talents that bring immense value to the table.

Representation in the tech industry is crucial because it breaks down stereotypes, challenges biases, and creates a more inclusive environment. By being a visible presence and demonstrating what is possible, I hope to encourage more women to enter the field, knowing that they belong and that their contributions are essential.

As a representative for African women in tech, I want to address the specific challenges and barriers they may face, empowering African women to pursue their ambitions fearlessly. Through my journey, I will strive to uplift, mentor, and create a supportive community that nurtures their growth and success.

I will advocate for equal opportunities, support initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion, and work towards dismantling systemic obstacles that hinder their progress.

Ultimately, being the New Face of Tech means standing proudly as a role model, for every woman in the room, reminding them that together, we can shatter glass ceilings, redefine norms, and create a future where women in tech thrive and excel. It means using my platform as a voice for those whose voices have been marginalized, ensuring that their perspectives are heard and valued.

It also means embracing innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. It means being at the forefront of technological advancements and contributing to groundbreaking discoveries and solutions that have a positive impact on society.

It is a tremendous honor and a commitment to making a difference. It signifies the opportunity to transform the industry, and I am ready to embrace this role with enthusiasm, determination, and a deep sense of purpose.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

As a woman in STEAM, I believe we can change the underrepresentation by encouraging early exposure to STEAM subjects for girls, fostering supportive environments that challenge stereotypes, and promoting and celebrating the achievements of women in STEAM.

I believe mentorship plays a vital role, too. By establishing mentorship programs, we can provide guidance and support to aspiring women in STEAM, helping them navigate challenges and build their confidence. Through mentorship, we can inspire and empower the next generation of women in STEAM, creating a more inclusive and diverse community.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

As a Black woman, I have faced challenges related to underrepresentation and bias. These challenges include a lack of representation, limited opportunities for advancement, unconscious bias in hiring, and the need to overcome stereotypes and biases.

However, I am determined to overcome these challenges through resilience, perseverance, and seeking out supportive communities and networks. I strive to be a role model and advocate for diversity and inclusion, working towards creating a fair and inclusive environment for all.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

Keeping my eyes on the prize and constantly reminding myself of my goals is a key strategy that helps me. By envisioning the result and the positive impact it will have on my life, I find the drive to keep pushing forward.

In addition, breaking down my goals into smaller, actionable tasks keeps me motivated. Each time I complete a task, I feel a sense of accomplishment and progress, which fuels my determination to continue working toward my ultimate objective.

To further reinforce my motivation, I create visual reminders of my goals like a vision board filled with inspiring images and quotes, and place written reminders in prominent places around my space. These visual cues serve as constant reminders of what I’m striving for.

I also surround myself with a supportive network of friends, family, and mentors who understand and believe in my aspirations — and I strive to meet more people with similar goals and aspirations as me by attending conferences, seminars, summits, or networking events. Their encouragement, advice, and accountability help me stay on track and remind me of the importance of staying focused on my goals.

I find it helpful to regularly reassess and reflect on my progress. This allows me to celebrate milestones, acknowledge any areas for improvement, and adjust my approach, if necessary. By recognizing the progress I’ve made and the steps I still need to take, I maintain a strong sense of purpose and motivation on my journey towards achieving my goals.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

It is instrumental; it alleviates the burden of financial constraints that will hinder my career progress. It will enable me to invest in essential professional development and specialized training. Having access to these resources will significantly enhance my ability to succeed.

But it goes beyond financial assistance. 1DF’s wealth of experience, expertise, and networks in addition to the guidance, mentorship, and connections will be invaluable in navigating the industry and accessing opportunities that align with my goals.

I am immensely grateful for their investment in my journey, and I am confident that their support will play a critical role in propelling me forward.