The matter of low involvement of women in tech is one issue that will continue to plague the tech space and continue to be fodder for conversations. And it isn’t just an African problem because the world over, women are struggling to measure up with their male counterparts.
According to Statista, between 2010 and 2019, only 9.8% of start-up founders in West Africa were women. About 90.2% of founders were men, representing the vast majority.
The numbers are a bit higher for the entire continent as in 2020, approximately 85% of co-founder and C-level positions of startups in Africa were occupied by men, while only 15% were occupied by women. The global average was slightly higher, though most startup founders were still men.
These statistics reveal that women are underrepresented in the tech space. Fortunately, resources and opportunities are increasingly becoming available for women to gain a footing in the tech industry. There is a rising number of inclusive digital societies that provide opportunities for women, invest in feminist technology and put young women at the centre of designing and learning solutions.
For young women who are looking to make an entrance into the tech space, there are different spaces for proper guidance and mentorship is necessary. These 5 organisations have created a safe space and avenues for young women to discover and pursue their areas of interest in tech.
She Code Africa
She Code Africa is a non-profit organization that provides African girls with access to a network of female professionals. The organization operates in 14 cities across Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda. It gives girls access to learning resources -tutorials, articles, videos, job opportunities and promotions to global conferences and tech events.
The Summer Code Camp is an annual initiative of She Code Africa targeted at high school girls from across Africa to stimulate and nurture their interest in STEM. It is a 4-week learning bootcamp to educate them on tech and take them through learning in different aspects of tech.
The She Code Africa mentoring program is a 3 months program designed to pair experienced individuals excelling in their specific tech fields with beginners so as to impart more knowledge and help them grow in their career fields.
To learn more about She Code Africa and how to be a member of the organisation, click here.
Africa Agility- Girls in Tech initiative
Africa Agility is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to ignite a movement in Africa that will transform the Agile and digital business sector. Africa Agility is working to close the gender gap in technology by assisting girls in gaining access to technology training and education, as well as digital agile techniques.
Girls in Tech is a program aimed at equipping female students with skills in ArtificiaI Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, and entrepreneurship. The Girls in Tech Initiative consists of three approaches:
The Learn approach consists of the virtual self-paced program, the virtual instructor-led Bootcamp and the in-person Bootcamp, The Lean approach is a 3-month project-based program with mentorship opportunities from industry experts. The last approach is The Leap approach which is the Job placement or entrepreneurship path.
Click here to apply for the upcoming Girls in Tech bootcamp.
The Women Techsters
The Women Techsters initiative is aimed at bridging the digital and technology knowledge divide between men and women as well as ensuring equal access to opportunities for all.
The Women Techsters Bootcamp aims to provide adequate learning opportunities for participants to develop relevant tech skills, jump-start careers, or fill in knowledge gaps from emerging technologies. It is a 2-week intensive digital skills training for girls and women across Africa by experienced facilitators.
There is also a Women Techsters Fellowship, a year-long coding program for young women. The training is for three months, supported by a six-month internship and enrollment into a mentorship program.
The Fellowship Program is an opportunity for women to upskill and build the capacity needed to access decent work opportunities. The learning paths for this training are Software Development, Product Design (UI/UX), Cybersecurity, Product Management, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Engineering.
Read all about Women Techsters programs here.
She Hacks Africa
She Hacks Africa is a hands-on coding and product design bootcamp that aims to build self-confidence in African youths as change agents and technology innovators in their communities while giving them relevant skills to build technology enterprises.
Training workshops will give women the know-how to get started and boost their employability, entrepreneurship and leadership skills and productivity by learning to code. It will also teach them how to host their websites and how to design apps. Courses include full stack development, UI/UX design, artificial intelligence and mobile app development. The program will take a maximum of 4 weeks.
Click here to apply and also view past projects of She Hacks Africa bootcamp.
Afro-Tech Girls is a Nigerian non-profit organisation founded in 2015 to increase the participation of girls and young women in STEM.
ATG hosts a bootcamp every summer designed to bring STEM learning into the everyday activities for girls in Nigeria. During the two weeks of Bootcamp, the participants are required to provide solutions to societal problems by creating designs that can tackle them.
The aim is to empower young girls to see themselves as assets to their immediate environments as solution creators. Check them out here.
Women who are interested in the tech space need drive and commitment to succeed. Like every other good thing, it takes time. These communities have made sure that there is adequate support and resources to succeed.
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