Gladys Maina wasn’t always going to be a STEM professional. She initially pursued a medical laboratory certificate but realized rather quickly that a career in medic was not for her. She quit and travelled 250Kms to Nairobi where she was hired as a cybercafé assistant and her passion for technology started.
Gladys never looked back and has gone ahead to excel in her career and studies. In June 2020, she was selected for the 2020-2021 TechWomen program from an incredibly competitive cycle with only 108 women selected to participate. TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and later travel to Washington, DC. for targeted meetings and special events.
Gladys acknowledges the role technology continues to play in transforming lives and societies. Despite Kenya being a resource-constrained developing country, she believes that it offers her the opportunity to use technology to solve social-economic issues. It is for this reason that Gladys continues to seek international experiences that guide her in achieving these goals. In November 2019, Gladys was named a 2020 finalist of the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship in line with Adobe vision of creating the best products by bringing gender diversity into the technology industry. In 2018, she was one of the four finalists and the only Kenyan nominated in the category of IT Project Management for the 2018 Afrika Kommt! Initiative. This program offers training opportunities to young sub-Saharan Africans at leading DAX-listed companies in Germany.
Beyond her career and studies, Gladys is highly engaged in leadership and mentorship programs for female students in STEM. Gladys believes that she stands on the sacrifices of a million women before her and is always thinking what she can do to make the mountain taller so the women after her can go even further ahead.