As digital revolution in the globalised economy continues to emphasize on the increase of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for growth and development, one question begs, how should more girls be attracted to the sciences?
Diversity is crucial for such growth and development as notes Fiona Woolf – the Lord Mayor of the City of London; “We have witnessed an explosion in the digital economy and technology start-ups have proliferated. We need more women to balance men in the tech sector in ensuring there is a reliable and diverse pipeline of talent.”
Geared for nipping the tech gender imbalance in the bud for the East African space, Hernovation and Women in Tech Huawei (WITH) recently signed a partnership deal to generate new ideas and fresh thinking as a mitigation against the gender disparity as apparent in the space.
Speaking at the first ever forum after the deal, hosted by Huawei in Nairobi, Laura Chite the CEO CIO East Africa and a co-Founder of Hernovation noted the key tenets for budding more women into tech as being collaboration and networking, soft skills and mentorship.
“Leverage on one another’s unique strengths and weaknesses for personal and career growth. The existence of more female tech entrepreneurs as role models would broaden perceptions and encourage more women to consider tech- related career options,” she said adding; “Invest in soft skills for career and personal growth.”
Also at the forum was Maureen Mwaniki, the Quality Assurance/ EHS Manager at Huawei technologies and the Founder of Women in Tech Huawei who gave the strategic pillars of the partnership as being effective communication and collaboration.
She noted that communicating effectively even through mentorships will debunk preconceptions made of the socialization that technical courses are not meant for ladies even from a young age.
“We are failing to communicate effectively with the young generation, while both boys and girls enjoy the study of science, girls are less likely to pursue the subject or see themselves as future scientists or engineers,” she averred.
The partnership shall break down the perceived barriers between female students and STEM-related careers, through effective engagement with schools and pupils.
Connecting women with expert-practitioners in tech sector will debunk macho myths, and demonstrate that science and technology careers for women are both attractive and achievable. The more representative the sector becomes, the greater the potential for continued innovation and the greater sustainability of success.
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