AFCHIX women in TECH SUMMIT

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Date and time: 
Fri, 2017-06-02 09:36
Location / Venue: 

THE BOMA HOTEL NAIROBI

The theme of the event was “A Spectrum of Opportunities”

The first presentation was about the benefits of growing women in tech communities around the world by Ms Angela Wamola who is the founder of Safaricom, Women In Technology(WIT). She talked about starting her job as the only woman in her team and the challenges she faced while in school as well for being the only lady in class. She emphasized on the fact that we should encourage more ladies in the STEM field and create more opportunities for them.

There was a panel session where the discussion was about educating and empowering women in Technology Africa. They spoke about some of the initiatives that are going on such as the Akirachix program which educates girls in Technology especially from humble backgrounds. One of the challenges mentioned was that the girls had a hard time keeping up with the program because of lack of support from their families. Therefore they had to visit the families and involve them in the programs as well so that the see the benefits it gives to the girls.

The next session was about leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa. A leader was defined as someone who knows about their team and the challenges they face not just what they should deliver. leaders should inspire their teams to take part in achieving their vision.

The next talk was about creating change in Africa by using online accessible tools by Ruth Waiganjo a Computer Science at the University of Nairobi who shared her story on winning Ms Geek Africa. She gave a talk on how she is trying to create change in Africa using her fourth year project which is Driver Profiling. She emphasized that change is created through compounding habits of solving small problems that will lead to change in Africa.

There was a panel session about IT women in Industry Work + Life balance. They talked about the challenges of being a career woman and taking care of their homes. They made it clear that there was no such thing as work life balance and that women should choose partners who are supportive of them during their career life. Women were encouraged to always seek help, delegate when possible and not to try and do it all. Having time for yourself to relax is also beneficial.

The final talk of the day was from Dr. Catherine N. Adeya who is an ICT4D Expert. Her talk was about Cutting through the Gender Divide where she started off with a video about a girl who is always doing house chores and her brothers are either playing or watching television. The girl wanted to participate in a scholarship but could not because of the many chores she had and instead her brother participated and got the opportunity. Dr. Adeya said that there are many statistics out there about the gap of women in technology but the question that comes up is So what? What are we doing about it? Some of the challenges that cause the gap is also from the Mothers who do not understand that the girls also need to access opportunities and also from the men who do not encourage or help the girls, if the girl from the video was helped by her brothers as well, she would have a better chance of applying for the scholarship.

 

 

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