She recently sat down with Business Insider SSA by Pulse to tell us how she got to this point.
"So I read Computer Engineering, initially at Ife, and then at Cambridge University. And I was just very drawn to the sort of empowerment that came with technology. This is an industry where there's always something new, right, there are always new tools, new platforms that can help you be more productive. And so I've always found myself just looking to go higher in terms of being able to do more, and I think, in general as well, that initial mindset around giving your best of things has stayed with me. And that has helped me in every environment, push the envelope to see what more can I do you know, what's in front, what's the next step? And that has forged me on," she said.
And forge on she has. Ehimuan has gone from being a Telecoms Engineer at SHELL Petroleum Development Company to becoming the Country Director for Nigeria and West Africa at Google. Here, she is responsible for leading Google's strategy and business growth in the region.
Having achieved so much in a 'male-dominated' industry, we asked her for her secret for success and this is what she had to say:
First, believe in yourself and have a vision
"First and foremost, you have to believe in yourself. You have to be your own champion. Don't wait for other people to cheer you on. You have to, you know, bring that from inside yourself. Believe that you deserve to have a great life. You know, there's a reason why you're here. you are not a mistake you were you were created and put here like everybody else, right? So you deserve to be here. You deserve to have a great life. So first of all, believe that and then be very clear about what your vision is. And what would it take to go from here to there, you know, and then to be conscious about taking the right steps to get you in that direction", was her first advice.
Live up to your full potential
Recalling how her upbringing encouraged her to be the best, she advises people to always do their best.
In her words, "From a very young age, I always had this feeling that if you don't perform as best as you can you are doing yourself a disservice because you are telling yourself and the world that you are not as good as you really are so you owe to yourself to actually live to your full potential. To use your talents to give your best to everything. And I was also fortunate to, you know, I grew up in an environment where my dad had a very high educational standard for all of us, I am one of seven children, five girls and two boys. But my dad had the same standard of education for everyone, right. And so there was nothing, at least personally, that really said oh you can't really go for it, you can't be your best you can't achieve. And so I kind of, I had that drive to do well, and so I went for it."
Be an expert in your field
As a woman in the tech industry, Ehimuan knows firsthand how tough it can be to stand out but she insists that it can be done. All you have to do is be an expert.
"Maybe you need to learn a new skill. Maybe you need to ask somebody for help. Maybe you need to take a certain training, maybe you need to volunteer for a certain project, you know, whatever it takes to show up knowing what you're talking about. Because that is how people would respond to you. If you show up and you don't really know what you're talking about, then you do create the room for people to, you know, make comments, have perceptions and all of that. But if you come out with confidence and knowing what you're talking about and really developing expertise in your field, then you earn the respect, and people relate to you that way," she said.
This interview has been edited for clarity.