Breaking Barriers and Leading Change: A Journey in Tech and Advocating for Women - in conversation with - Fumbi Chima

Talking Trends
3 min readJan 8, 2024

The presence of women of color in the technology sector is pivotal for a more inclusive and innovative industry. Their unique perspectives and experiences enrich the field, fostering creativity and problem-solving. Furthermore, their representation serves as an inspiration for future generations, demonstrating that diversity is the cornerstone of progress and excellence in the ever-evolving world of technology. By promoting and supporting women, and specifically women of color in tech, we pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future.

We are in conversation with Fumbi Chima, a solutions-oriented innovator and advocate for women of color. As someone who has broken through the glass ceiling, she shares her experiences with us.

You’ve achieved remarkable success in your career and have broken through the glass ceiling. Can you tell us about the key milestones and experiences that have led to your current position, breaking through barriers along the way? Additionally, you’ve expressed a commitment to supporting women of color in leadership positions, including the C-suite and boardrooms. How do you envision making a difference in this regard, and what motivates you to champion this cause? Lastly, based on your journey, what advice would you offer to younger women of color aiming to excel professionally and strive for leadership roles?

“My professional journey, marked by strategic milestones, includes a significant experience at Walmart. As the regional CIO leading the Asia team, I navigated challenges unique to a woman of color in Asia, fostering a transformative approach to change and growth. Looking back, I never thought of myself as “breaking the glass ceiling”, but in retrospect I am proud of the work I did. That role not only broadened my perspectives but also propelled me towards subsequent opportunities in luxury and intermediate sectors.

“The core of my success lies in navigating the intersection of technology and business, positioning the former as a strategic enabler for the business, not just a utility. Initiating this shift required addressing organizational resistance and ingrained perceptions, making change management a central challenge. Support and mentorship, particularly for women grappling with imposter syndrome, are integral components of my journey.

“Encouraging women to support each other and fostering alliances with understanding male counterparts is pivotal for reshaping leadership dynamics. My passion lies in dismantling the statistically low representation of women in executive roles, driven by the belief that diverse leadership correlates with superior organizational performance.

Addressing the obstacles women face, including familial responsibilities, is crucial for fostering an inclusive environment. While recognizing and appreciating the nuances of women’s lives, women must be assertive and confident in their professional aspirations. My advocacy extends to debunking the concept of a glass ceiling, emphasizing the limitless potential for women in leadership.

My advice for aspiring women leaders: cultivate a realistic yet ambitious vision, surround yourself with a supportive network, invest in mentorship early in your career, nurture curiosity, and resist succumbing to premature discouragement. By instilling confidence and ambition in the younger generation, we can collectively contribute to reshaping the narrative around women in leadership.

“My journey reflects a commitment to dismantling barriers, fostering diversity, and championing the cause of women with a particular focus on women of color, in leadership positions. Through strategic leadership, mentorship, and advocacy, I aspire to catalyze a paradigm shift towards a more inclusive and equitable corporate landscape.”

Thank you for sharing, Fumbi.

Connect with Fumbi on LinkedIn.



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