The issue of women’s low involvement in technology is an issue that will continue to plague the tech space and fuel conversations. And it’s not just an African problem because all over the world, women find it difficult to measure up to 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 the founders were men, making up the vast majority.
the the figures are somewhat higher for the whole contiAs of 2020, around 85% of co-founder and C-level positions of startups in Africa were held by men, while only 15% were held by women. The global average was slightly higher, although most startup founders were still male.
These statistics reveal that women are underrepresented in the tech space. Fortunately, resources and opportunities are becoming increasingly available for women to gain a foothold in the tech industry. There are a growing number of inclusive digital societies that are providing opportunities for women, investing in feminist technology, and putting young women at the center of designing and learning from solutions.
For young women looking to break into the tech space, there are different spaces for proper guidance and mentorship is needed. These 5 organizations have created a safe space and avenues for young women to discover and pursue their areas of interest in technology.
She codes Africa
She Code Africa is a non-profit organization that provides African girls with access to a network of professional women. The organization operates in 14 cities in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda. It gives girls access to learning resources – tutorials, articles, videos, job opportunities and promotions at global conferences and tech events.
The Summer Code Camp is an annual initiative of She Code Africa for high school girls across Africa to stimulate and nurture their interest in STEM. This is a 4 week learning bootcamp to educate them about technology and guide them in learning different aspects of technology.
The She Code Africa Mentorship Program is a 3-month program designed to pair experienced people excelling in their specific technology areas with newbies to impart more knowledge and help them grow in their career fields.
To learn more about She Code Africa and how to become a member of the organization, click on here.
Africa Agility – Girls in Tech Initiative
Africa Agility is a non-profit organization whose goal is to spark a movement in Africa that will transform the agile and digital business sector. Africa Agility works to close the gender gap in technology by helping girls access technology training and education, as well as digital agile techniques.
Girls in Tech is a program aimed at equipping female students with skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and entrepreneurship. The Girls in Tech initiative consists of three approaches:
The Learn approach includes the Virtual Self-Study Program, the Instructor-Led Virtual 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 placement or the way of entrepreneurship.
Click on here to apply for the next Girls in Tech bootcamp.
The Women Techsters initiative aims to bridge the digital and technological knowledge gap between men and women, as well as to ensure equal access to opportunities for all.
The Women Techsters Bootcamp aims to provide participants with adequate learning opportunities to develop relevant technical skills, kick-start careers, or fill knowledge gaps in emerging technologies. This is an intensive 2 week digital skills training for girls and women across Africa by experienced female facilitators.
There is also a Women Techsters Fellowship, a one-year coding program for young women. The training lasts three months, supported by a six-month internship and enrollment in a mentorship program.
The scholarship program is an opportunity for women to upskill and build the skills needed to access decent work opportunities. The learning paths of this training are software development, product design (UI/UX), cybersecurity, product management, data science and artificial intelligence engineering.
All about the Women Techsters programs here.
She pirates Africa
She Hacks Africa is a hands-on coding and product design bootcamp that aims to build the self-confidence of young Africans as change agents and tech innovators in their communities while giving them the skills to build businesses technologies.
Training workshops will give women the know-how to get started and boost their employability, entrepreneurial and leadership skills, and productivity by learning to code. It will also teach them how to host their websites and how to design applications. Courses include full stack development, UI/UX design, artificial intelligence, and mobile app development. The program will last a maximum of 4 weeks.
Click on here to apply and view previous She Hacks Africa bootcamp projects.
Afro tech girls
Afro-Tech Girls is a Nigerian non-profit organization founded in 2015 to increase the participation of girls and young women in STEM.
ATG organizes a bootcamp every summer designed to integrate STEM learning into the daily activities of girls in Nigeria. During the two weeks of Bootcamp, participants are encouraged to provide solutions to societal problems by creating designs capable of solving them.
The goal is to empower young girls to see themselves as assets to their immediate environment as solution makers. Check them here.
Women entering the tech space need drive and commitment to succeed. Like all good things, it takes time. These communities have ensured that there is adequate support and resources to succeed.
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