July 9th Women in Tech Ghana Chapter’s Quarterly Business Event
See Video and Pictures Below
The dynamism in technology is one of the reasons I choose this career, there is not one boring moment when you are in the technology world. We all wake up and there is something different each day, it’s thrilling and exciting. Being a lady in technology is even better; the look of surprise on people’s faces when you tell them you are an IT specialist makes one feel good about one’s self. The journey has been both exciting and full of challenges while some of us women might lose hope along the way, I choose to hang on and fight.
I love science and engineering and it’s my hope that we can get as many girls as possible to do same. In my college class five years ago, we were only ten girls out of an estimated sixty students, out of the ten a few of us graduated and currently I know of none of them who is actively into the technology profession. Well that is a sad situation in itself and one that we all need to work hard to change. Things are changing fast though and more women are taking up science, engineering and technology courses but we are not there yet.
After school I joined Flex communications which is a software development company as a programmer ,I was also involved in customizing custom-made software’s to fit organization’s needs. Programming is a challenging career and it’s even hard when you are lady and you have people who believe you cannot deliver because of your gender. I had many incidences where I would get assigned only simple tasks while my male colleagues got all the challenging projects. It was demoralizing but I have always had a positive attitude and a fighting spirit.
After leaving Flex I joined CARE international, an NGO dealing with humanitarian work as an ICT officer where am currently working, I do IT support and ensure the daily running of technical and communication equipment’s for the organization, besides that I also develop different kinds software’s and market them to companies as a side business.
My goal is to setup Computer labs in primary and secondary schools across Kenya and equip them with computers, trainers and internet. We will introduce computer skills to girls at a younger age and help them build a good foundation of technology. We will also mentor these girls to take up STEM courses when they join institutions of higher learning. We want women to take up more science courses since the field is under represented with a huge percentage of the jobs in science being done by men.
Virginia Wairimu is Kenyan IT graduate with Bias in software development using Vb.Net, C# among other languages as well as IT software & Hardware support and networking. I’m hoping to start coding classes for young girls and ladies to mentor them to join IT and the Tech world. Currently I’m working as an ICT officer with CARE International in Kenya, which is an international NGO dealing with humanitarian activities among other projects; previously I have worked with Flex Communications as a Software developer. I also have an interest in writing and photography.
I’m in the process of initiating a project that will see young girls in primary and secondary schools get formal training on technology which will include basic computer skills to advanced education such as coding as well as mentorship to these girls to encourage them to take up science and engineering courses. We will also train them on how to be creative and innovative using technology and also use technology for enterprise purposes.
”It’s really fascinating to know that these codes can solve real human problems”. And that was what got me into this field.
Growing up as a student, I had a thing for Mathematics, Sciences, and Computer. I had always looked forward for opportunities to apply this knowledge to solve real problems facing our society.
I got myself tutored online with resources and practical lessons. I googled, binged and asked the internet on programming, design and software tutorials.
I started freelancing for some jobs and got some quick placements at some foundation, agencies and brands. Now I run my own Digital Software Company, Inspiriasoft.com- for 4 years now.
I was recently selected by Google to train at their Digital Business Manager Program and also now a partner at Microsoft. This experience for me has been inclusive and high growth stunner.
I want to solve the real problems faced by the African community especially women and youth related with simple digital solutions.
I recently launched a project with my team in Nigeria, Tech4Her. We are driven to expand economic opportunities for girls and women by equipping them with ICT, Tools and expertise. Women will be able to apply these technology tools to solve real problems they face such as education, violence, insecurity, funds etc.
We will be installing Digital labs (with computers, internet and learning packages) and facilitating Digital literacy classes in Secondary schools, Institutions and Communities.
More on www.tech4her.org.
Websites: www.inspiriasoft.com, www.tech4her.org.
Elizabeth Olorunleke is Google Certified Digital Business Manager, Microsoft Partner and Founder of Inspiriasoft.com (Digital Software Company) with a BSC in Computer Science & Engineering. She worked with a CommonWealth Initiative, GLEEHD Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering leaders in African countries. And was nominated as a delegate at the Nigerian Centennial celebration, UK.
In addition to humanitarian service, she has more than 5 year experience in Digital Arts, User experience, Sotware programming (PHP, Java, HTML5/CSS, Sql), Project Management, Team Management, Web design & Management, Mobile Development, Digital media marketing & Analyics. She has worked partly on projects with Firms such as CWG (Computer Warehouse Group), TINK Africa, UN-YFWP, Headstart Consulting and runs her Digital Firm, Inspiriasoft.
She is currently working on her project, ‘Tech4Her’ with a mission to enable women in ICT & STEM to expand economic opportunities for girls/women.
I trace my interest in technology to a childhood passion. My passion came from a place of insight and simplicity. I used to scoff and cringe during my High School years on hearing that there are not enough women in technology. Much in my current life has been shaped by my younger years; a gradually developed interest that has in a long run influenced me in a good way.
Alongside being a technology enthusiast, I am a writer. I am doing lots of poetry to be a better engineer one time. I find writing and programming similar in the sense that they both involve lone time trying to create something interesting. Their brevity and hidden meaning and all make me know myself better. That inward energy gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.
I derive most of my energy from being surrounded by people. Meeting incredible people has made me view life through a hue and tint of imagination. It is through these tech gatherings that I have managed to answer my endless questions to satisfy my curiosity. I am now conscious that technology was meant for me. There is no mechanical way of learning other than the golden chance of brushing shoulders with people and talking to them. To me, actualizing a dream begins with talking. I have talked to many women I have met and we have shared our interests, what the world lacks, happenings that affect us in a way.
I admire women who have influenced a change in the technology world from afar. I dream of being there too someday. The world is crying out for more women who can venture in technology, and I want to be one of the women who can elbow their way out of patriarchy to silence the cry.
“Achieng’ Emily is a Kenyan technology lover and writer. She loves watching stars at night. And better still, looks at them more than most people do. ”
I chose a career in Technology because I just didn’t know what I wanted to do in life but I was confident I would do well as I’m a strong believer of the saying “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”.
As an IT student, I decided to take a part time job in an SEO company and specialized in Link Building and Search Engine Optimization without having a clue about it. I just knew I was going to be helping my company make millions of dollars online. I put my mind into it and eventually understood the complete basics of Web Marketing (Search Engine Optimization, Link Building and Online Marketing).
This experience opened doors of opportunity into the Online World where I got my first International Job via the Internet as a Web Marketing Analyst. My goal was simple – To Capture Online Users looking to visit China for the Summer Games in 2008.
With my Digital Marketing experience in China, I developed a career in Hospitality Digital Marketing for one of the best hospitality giants in the World and as I continue to evolve, I have gone further to achieve a Masters in Marketing to really understand how core fundamentals of Marketing combine with Core Digital and Information Technology to drive a business forward.
My Career Dream is to be best that I can in any field using my foundational IT skills to improve in everything I do. I am currently looking to take a course in General Leadership Management to integrate Technology into a business. We can’t run away from Technology in fact with the rate at which Technology is fast evolving, it has become fundamental to any business today. I am passionate about Technology as it has shown me how much of an impact it can be in one’s personal life and business today.
Image Source: http://sorianomedia.com/infographic-digital-marketing/
Lola Banjo is a seasoned Digital and Marketing Expert in the Hospitality, Travel & Leisure space.
Over 10 years’ experience across Asia, Middle East & Africa
Connect with Me on Linked In. https://ae.linkedin.com/in/lbanjo
I chose a career in tech because I love to be dynamic and to move with current trend of business. Technology does the same and automatically suits my personality-the evolver! With technology, I can experiment and find solutions. I have worked in various sectors but the technology aspect of it all is what gave me the kick.
My dream has always been to use technology to bring a positive impact to the community and businesses.
My area of focus is in ICT & Telecoms Consulting. In Africa, the mobile phone remains a powerful tool, so I like to use technology and tie it around the mobile phone to find solutions through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and incorporating Cloud Computing to come up with Cloud-based solutions.
My journey into tech started after pursuing an MSc E-Business in 2001 in the UK when doing business on the internet was foreign in many parts of Africa, but I am glad to see ICT being embraced in businesses today in Africa.
I always wanted to start my own business since I want to drive things my way, so I founded GlobalX Investments Ltd in late 2012 after working with Ericsson, a telecommunications giant, in a Strategic Planning role covering 43 countries in Sub Saharan Africa. I hope to grow my business in Cloud-based Technologies through viable partnerships and innovation. My company, GlobalX has recently partnered with VMware as a Solution Provider. In line with this offer, VMware hosted me for my TechWomen Fellowship in the Silicon Valley in October 2014.
I worked on a mentorship project on Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) for Telco’s during my stint at VMware since I wanted to know more about new trends in Cloud Computing and Telecommunications.
Photo:Sylvia visiting the Microsoft Offices in Mountain View, Silicon Valley as part of TechWomen.
My journey so far has been challenging in terms of defining a business model and interesting since I have been trying many new things to shape my model. I keep reinventing my business model to reflect and incorporate emerging technologies. I have been pursuing and upgrading accreditation related to my areas of interest/focus to remain relevant and meet market requirements. I keep abreast with new technological trends through avid reading, networking, attending webinars and through social media.
My tech dreams are valid, and so are yours. I will keep going.
Sylvia is a ‘’Techpreneur’’ (Entrepreneur in Technology) based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a TechWomen Alumni, an Initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, selected as an Emerging leader from Africa & the Middle East. She is passionate about empowering girls in STEM. Sylvia also runs an online travel portal dial-a-safari.com.
My dream is to become a business management expert. I chose this career because, I want to help businesses make the right business decisions for success.
The journey has not been easy because I never studied any business related course in high school or the University for that Matter except a little entrepreneurship I studied as a minor course during my undergraduate studies in Bsc. Agricultural Engineering. After graduation, I was posted to a bank to do my national service. I found it very confusing working in a business environment when I was coming from an engineering background. But I later realized that I was doing very well in that area. When I completed my national service, my mum who also runs multiple businesses, employed me as a manager for her businesses that gave me the opportunity to nurture my skills and gain a certain level of expertise. I began to execute my duties with so much flare and translated leads into sales.
My appointment as regional coordinator for Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Center (YESDEC) catapulted my business management desire to another level. My region was adjudged the best during the project period. Since then I have managed and still managing other promising businesses.
My dream is to reach the highest echelon in business management and strategy not only in Africa but internationally. Also to impact positively into the business culture focusing on African businesses.
In order to achieve this, I will equip myself with the right knowledge, gain more practical experience and make a positive impact at every opportunity that comes my way.
Selasi Segbedzi holds a BSc. in Agricultural Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Projects Management. She
Oversees the day-to-day management and strategic direction of Jayset Consulting. She focuses on building high-performing teams, continuously improving our solutions and clients’ experiences, and identifying new services at the center of transparency and accountability, results management.
Selasi Segbedzi also served as the Regional Coordinator for Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centre (YESDEC), a social intervention and innovation programme that develops the skills of young entrepreneurs, creating jobs and making jobs more accessible and actionable. Selasi has extensive experience in management, team leading and projects/programmes management, and working with governments and donors.
Previously, Selasi worked with Ghana Commercial Bank as a Back Office Executive, Barclays Bank as a Support Staff and currently at Afromod Trends as Operations Manager
Not just Girls go to school; it is Girls to Tech …
Our Android development Lecturer is a lady!!!
I get this expression of surprise from students every time I step into a class for the first time. My name is Rachael Orum or [G+], and I am a woman in Tech.
I have great passion for Technology, this passion begun 8years ago (2007) when I was a level 100 student in the ICT Department at the “Université Africaine de Technologie et Management” Cotonou, Republic. of Benin
I finished my Masters in Software Development Engineering in 2012. I learnt a lot while serving as an intern in some software laboratories in Benin and in Cameroun during my studies.
Coupled with my software orientation is a Degree in Linguistics which I acquired at the “Université D’Abomey Calavi”, Calavi. Rep. of Benin in 2009.
I am an impending Doctorate Degree student in Computer Linguistics; I developed a prototype “Yoruba Language Individualized Language Learning ” software which I intend to work on.
I lecture programming languages (web and mobile) and databases at the “Université Africaine de Technologie et Management” since 2012. I also founded the [UATM Developers Orb] and the [Cercle de s développeurs de l’UATM]
I run a start up company [SENS ORBIT] since 2013; we have deployed soft solutions for some companies here in Benin. I am currently leading the Google Developers Group [Women Tecmakers’ community at Abomey Calavi], Republic of Benin.
I Chose Software Development engineering because I want to make the world a better place by creating software that solve people’s problems. Also, sharing what I know is an exciting thing for me. I love to teach young and passionate youth like myself.
Down the road of teaching tech.
My interest in Female Technological Awareness aroused when I was in level 100 in the University and found myself in a class of 40 boys with only 2 girls. I immediately realized that most girls do not have the luxury of having parents and folks like mine who made me believe I can do anything I love to do.
This became a clarion call for me. Through my few years of Lecturing, I encourage my students to go for the Software Development specialty; the female students in particular.
This has not yielded much fruit as the number of female students in the ICT department is still very few and those of them going for the Software Development specialty are even fewer. I cross-checked with other schools here in Benin, The statistics are the same.
This is because most students if not all, already decide what they want to become before filling a university admission form.
The solution to this, would only be introducing programming to girls before they are able to decide which career they want to venture in; that is WHEN THEY ARE STILL IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS/HIGH SCHOOLS.
Decision comes from interest; interest is birthed by knowledge.
I believe that the decrease in the number of females in the software industry is not a question of lack of interest but rather that of orientation. My vision is to have a lot Girls who go to school to study software development
This vision will become a reality when more girls decide to dive into the world of information Technology at all levels.
This can be achieved if we center where girls can learn programming after school.
We are sure to raise over 5000 girl developers within the space of 3 years.
THIS IS MY DREAM…
Algorithms, Web Programming, Xml galaxy and Databases
Wikipedia defines technologist broadly: A technologist is a specialist who is trained to perform work in a field of technology. I believe a better definition of a technologist is “a person who manipulates resources in the most efficient manner using specialized technology available to complete a task”.
This really appeals to me as efficiency, sufficiency and creative thinking have been part of my life from when I was very young and thus has fuelled my desire to become a Professional technologist.
There have been uncountable engineering feats that have awed the world. From the first moon landing, the construction of the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, the Millau Viaduct to the Hadron Collider, used to discover the birth of the Universe, to the mechanics of a can opener, irrespective of the size of the project, engineering principles coupled with diligent application, have enhanced the accelerating technological age and have made our lives easier. On the flip side, it does not take long before one reads in the world headlines the signs of climate catastrophe, diminishing resources and human tragedy resulting from malfunctioning, poorly designed equipment and/or poorly engineered technology. These are the avoidable issues that we cannot afford to ignore.
From international world class mountain bikes to nail clippers, practically any part of anything man-made can be attributed to an engineer or more probably a team of engineers using a particular technology. Opportunities for improvement are everywhere; we just need the right sort of people and the technology to achieve them.
I have been strongly influenced by having grown up in an environment of computing and technology. My mother, an IT officer, has always shared the benefits and challenges of her job and the way it impacted the rest of the organization and this sparked my enthusiasm for technology. I started out by being an intern in the network department of MTN, a multinational African telecom rising up to being a leader of a team of Data Centre Operations Engineers. I am currently the CEO of Zimba Group LTD, an IT firm that develops e-solutions for small and medium enterprises with a focus on women-led organisations.
I intend to be part of the new generation of technologists who help Africa rise to the challenge of developing efficient, ecologically aware and forward thinking regarding systems and technologies.
Technology is about using resources efficiently to find solutions to challenges. I find this not only fulfilling but enjoyable. I want to go to work each day, being part of a team and doing something to make a difference in Africa, is a dream job in my eyes.
A fiery entrepreneur and independent thinker with proven abilities in web development, project management, communications, and IT services. She is an enthusiastic and high-achieving IT professional with a Bachelor of Computer Science with over 5 years’ experience in information systems. She is currently the CEO of Zimba Group Ltd, an Adtech company providing technical and software solutions for SME’s.
Early enough in life I decided to always explore alternatives.
I had expected it would always be sufficiently easy to execute any lifestyle changes I contemplated.
From young years of wanting to be a lawyer to a brief turn-around in favour of medicine before finally settling into a soothing lull where I simply told myself I was going to be an engineer. An affinity for lighted screens, disassembling and assembling small gadgets was not enough
When I gained a first degree in Statistics and tried and failed to get a job and no mentor or professional body that would teach me to be the great statistician I so wanted to be, I acquired skills in web design.
Seeming simple at the beginning, I discovered the field was much wider than I had been tutored. I soon began to feel like one very tiny fish in an exceedingly large ocean. When you do things that take you outside your comfort zone, you will constantly have to remind yourself that pain may be inevitable but misery is optional. Get ready.
One day in March 2015, I saddled up and began to take online classes to enhance my knowledge. Coupling it with my NGO job was not easy as there were many sleep-truncated nights. I sought out other web designers and asked questions. I did not get it instantly as even now I sometimes have to retrace my steps.
The greatest thing of all is I got better at my jobs.
I dream of building wonderful, unconventional websites.
I dream of inventing exceptional applications, soft-wares probably with programs so complex it would take almost donkey years for anyone to decode and make geniuses salute me.
Every day I learn something new about technology that thrills me. And that thrill? That’s what assures me my dream is not a lie.
Miriam Iyere-Isibor(Nigeria) begun a freelance career in technology through web design and social media platform management.Miriam is a Statistician and IT Manager at Yeve Logistics And Procurements Limited.Owner of QEREN WEB AND GRAPHICS DESIGN, a company still in infancy, she also authors two blogs where she writes her personal musings on life issues and advertises events.Accompanying an intense love for music is an interest in travelling.