88. Rachael Afolabi Royes- Executive Director, Center for Digital Learning & Innovation

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“[It’s] persistence and continuous believing in yourself and knowing 150% of what you are talking about so you leave no one doubting you.”


Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.


After meditating and the morning coffee, I have breakfast and head out to work. I typically work until 5-6 p.m. Depending on the week, I may have evening events or may just head on home to relax with a glass of wine.


How do you stay passionate in your career?


My daily thought process involves how to utilize technology to be more creative in my work. Whether it is working on a design piece or developing a learning module, how I utilize technology is an essential part of my process. Experimenting with different technology tools and processes helps me continue to stay passionate in my career and also attending and presenting at conferences.


Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?


Not particularly. I was an Industrial Design Major with a focus on textiles design. I evolved into the instructional design field from computer graphic design.


Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?


Adobe Photoshop, TechSmith Camtasia, iMovie, Whatsapp, to name a few.


It’s common knowledge that women often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?


Absolutely. I have faced and continue to face challenges as a woman in the tech industry. How I have dealt with it, is persistence and continuous believing in yourself and knowing 150% of what you are talking about so you leave no one doubting you. It is a tough pill to swallow that your gender and race should come into deciding whether you are an authority for your field of work, and its really a shame, because this leaves out a number of individuals who may have an interest in the tech field but don’t have the confidence to go through it.


What’s your favorite thing about being a woman in tech?


Being a leader in my field right now to make the way for other women of color to get into the technology industry, and also being able to affect change in my own little ways.


How have you given back to the WIT community?


I mentor young individuals who are looking to get into the tech industry.


What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?


This is the time, just do it. Practice, research and take advantage of free courses, videos, etc. You will become so good at what you do!


Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year.


When I completed and launched my first mobile application of African Trivia.


Favorite quote:


“Only the educated are free”