Growing up in Rwanda and then spending much of her young adult life abroad has given Nicaise Ishimwe a particularly thoughtful take on the importance of building connections and keeping in touch – both in her working life and in her personal life.
Nicaise, 32, an engineer with deep experience and expertise in mobile telecoms, works in Dublin for technology infrastructure group Emovis, delivering and overseeing tolls solutions for highway providers around the world.
But that’s just the day job. On the side, she’s also the co-founder of a startup, WeCoFix, which, she says, aims “to inform global businesses about the potential for them in developing markets. We’re aiming to be a bridge between two areas.”
On top of that, Nicaise also leads the Irish chapter of Women in Tech Africa, an organisation that supports women from the African diaspora in the global tech industry, provides role models and amplifies the voices of African women to raise their profiles.
“I’m in charge of diaspora activities, engaging with women and girls from the diaspora,” she explains. “Right now we’re looking at gaining more members and extending our chapter, as well as opening more chapters around the world.”
Nicaise is clearly excited about the work done by Women in Tech Africa, pointing to the plans to open new chapters in France and Germany and talking about the events her own chapter in Dublin has hosted. “What we do is bring content and resources to the women – we invite tech founders; we have up to 50 or 60 people at each event.”
The tech industry can be a tough place for women, which is why Nicaise counts herself lucky to have found a role where she works “hand in hand with others who are good managers and co-workers. They are a supportive company; they have a culture of supporting each other and communicating with each other to understand the issues.”