Huawei Kenya recently launched a women in technology initiative to support women in the IT workplaces through charitable ICT training programs to strike gender parity in what has been predominantly a male domain.
Dubbed Women In Technology Huawei (WITH), the initiative envisions to onboard as more women as there are men in the technical work space as says Maureen Mwaniki, the Organizer of WITH and a Q&EHS Manager at Huawei technologies in the Country.
Maureen notes that in well developed economies, both women and men employed at equal stratum get to earn equally unlike in developing economies like Kenya whence the male get prioritized.
Women in Technology Huawei takes a more systematic approach to addressing women taking up technical careers, aiming to empower, connect and support current and future generations of women by providing them with role models, skills, opportunities and support to develop their interest, careers and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Various partners were hosted from across Huawei’s value chain: customers, suppliers, academic partners, charitable partners, channel partners and peers, to discuss how to collaborate to drive the WITH agenda together.
The six WITH strategies include:
- Management and Communications: Internal leadership and management of WITH, monitoring WITH progress, and communications to promote WITH internally and externally.
- Human Resources and Administration: Equal opportunity in employment, training, promotion, compensation; supportive facilities, workplace culture and activities.
- Procurement: Support women-owned or managed suppliers to increase their purchase orders from Huawei; encouraging and supporting existing suppliers to recruit, train and promote women employees
- Partners and Customers: Encouraging partners & customers to recruit, train and promote women employees; establish women-friendly culture and practices.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Create awareness and inspiration for girls of women in technology, provide training to girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and encourage them to take a career in STEM.
- ICT Academies: Enhance ICT training for female students, lecturers; increase opportunities through ICT Competition, Campus Ambassadors program, Internships etc.
During the launch, Stone He, CEO of Huawei Kenya said, “I am personally driving this Women In Technology Huawei Initiative as a boost for the women in technology.” Adding; “The data for Huawei is about average for the ICT industry in Kenya which is too low, thus the need to improve into a more strategic and ambitious strategy.”
Huawei has in the past done quite a lot to its staff and interns as well as to its charity and University partner, but still finds more things. We have set some plans and targets and we will do our best and try to improve.”
Accessing the WITH progress while speaking at the launch, Maureen Mwaniki noted that itbhas hitherto made good strides but still ha more to achieve.
“We have a lot more to do after this launch. We shall set clear goals and together with the partners we will achieve them.” Maureen Mwaniki.
The key targets announced at the event include doubling the number of young girls that would be mentored and trained through CSR programs; seeking to promote one third of women employees and train one half of women employees in 2019; increasing from 10% to 15% the proportion of lecturers trained that are female and increase by 10% the female students trained.
Further commitments were made to support at least 7 customers and partners with their women in technology initiatives and to increase procurement spend with women-owned suppliers. All told Huawei hopes to directly impact over 4,000 girls and women over the next 12 months
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