In Africa’s male-dominated technology (tech) scene, women remain largely underrepresented. Yet there is a growing sense that a handful of incredible women are setting new standards and encouraging others especially younger women to become “techy”. Many believe that when one woman helps another, amazing things can happen-professional careers leap forward.
Yes indeed, amazing things do happen. I recently attended one of these gatherings where established women professionals in technology were mentoring young women aspiring to take their STEM careers a step further.
I feel lucky. My generation is seeing a paradigm shift both in women’s reception to Science and technology information- a field which traditionally was considered male dominated – and the support that women are giving each other these days. It’s a remarkable turnaround! I kid you not. It’s been a long journey.
This mentoring session was organized by Women in Tech Africa. An organisation borne out of the perseverance and persistence of likeminded women on the continent, spearheaded by Ethel Cofie.
In her own words, Ethel says:
“Working in technology can, at times, be an isolating experience for women, especially in Africa. The impact of this can limit women’s professional growth in the sector. Women need mentors, role-models and a network to share their experiences, challenges and skills. Some Women in Technology clubs exist already, but to date, no-one has attempted to build a pan-African network, allowing us to compare our challenges, learn from other countries and connect across borders to expand our influence.”
Apart from founding WITA, Africa’s largest women in tech group with members in over 30 Africa countries and physical chapter in Ghana ,Kenya and London, Ms. Cofie is also CEO and Founder of EDEL Technology Consulting (An IT Consulting and Digital Products Company in West Africa and Europe). She know too well hoow difficult it can be for anyone aspiring to set up their own IT start ups:
“Starting my own business was a struggle; a lot of ups and downs to the extent that I had to shut down, get corporate jobs and restart from zero. This is because I had at that time not much knowledge or anyone to advise me on how to nurture and grow a startup, customer acquisition and retention among other. I decided to start a school to help other women on insight into beginning a startup.”
written by: Adisa Amanor Wilks – communications professional passionate about Africa.
And Gloria Dogbey – Innovation Analyst with EDEL Technology Consulting and Coordinator of Women in Tech Africa
Also at the event was Angela Mazza the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for . She told us about her journey as a woman navigating the world of technology, and what it means to her to be in her position in one of the biggest software development companies in the world.