One issue that will continues to plague the tech industry and provide fodder for discussions is the low participation of w women in tech. It’s not just an African issue. Women all over the globe are struggling to keep up with their male counterparts.
Statista reports that only 9.8% of West African start-up founders were women between 2010 and 2019. The vast majority of founders in West Africa were men (90.2%).
The numbers for the whole continent are slightly higher as in 2020, around 85% of cofounder and C-level positions in startups in Africa were held by men while only 15% were held by women. Although the global average was slightly lower, most of the startup founders were still male.
These statistics show that women are still underrepresented in tech. There are increasing opportunities and resources available to women in order for them to get a foothold in the tech sector. A growing number of inclusive digital societies are opening up to women. They invest in feminist technology, provide women with opportunities and place young women at the center of learning and design.
There are many places that can provide mentorship and guidance for young women looking to get into the tech industry. These five organizations have provided safe spaces and opportunities for young women to explore and pursue their tech interests.
She Code Africa is an organization that gives access to female professionals to African girls. It operates in 14 cities in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda. It provides girls with learning resources, including videos, articles, job opportunities, and promotion to international conferences and tech events.
She Code Africa’s annual Summer Code Camp targets high school girls across Africa. It is designed to spark and foster their interest in STEM. This 4-week Bootcamp teaches them about tech and helps them to learn in various areas of tech.
The She Code Africa Mentoring Program is a 3-month program that pairs experienced people in tech with newbies to help them learn and grow.
Click to learn more about She Code Africa or how you can become a member.
Africa Agility- Girls in Tech Initiative
Africa Agility is an African non-profit organization. Its purpose is to create a movement that will transform Africa’s Agile and digital business sectors. Africa Agility works to close the gap between men and women in technology. It assists girls to gain access to education and technology training, as well as to digital agile methods.
Girls in Tech is a program that aims to equip female students with skills and knowledge in ArtificiaI Intelligence (Machine Learning), Data Science, Entrepreneurship, and Data Science. There are three main approaches to the Girls in Tech Initiative:
The Learn approach includes the online self-paced program, instructor-led Bootcamp, and in-person Bootcamp. The Lean approach, which is a three-month program that is project-based, offers mentorship opportunities from industry professionals. The Leap approach, which is either the Job placement or entrepreneurship pathway, is the last.
To apply for the Girls in Tech Bootcamp, click here.
The Women Techsters
Women Techsters is an initiative that aims to bridge the digital and tech knowledge gap between men and women and ensure equal access for all.
The Women Techsters Bootcamp provides ample learning opportunities for participants in order to acquire relevant tech skills, jumpstart careers, and fill in knowledge gaps with emerging technologies. This 2-week program provides digital skills training for women and girls across Africa. It is led by experienced facilitators.
A Women Techsters Fellowship is also available, which is a one-year coding program for young females. The three-month training includes a six-month internship, as well as enrollment in a mentorship program.
The Fellowship Program offers women the opportunity to improve their skills and gain the ability to get decent jobs. This training includes Software Development, Product Design (UI/UX), Cybersecurity and Product Management.
She Hacks Africa
She Hacks Africa is an intensive coding and product design Bootcamp. It aims to empower African youths to become change agents and innovators in their communities.
Women will benefit from workshops that teach them how to get started, as well as the skills to increase their employability, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. They will learn how to create apps and how to host websites. The courses include full stack development, UI/UX designing, and mobile app development. The course will last for a maximum of four weeks.
To apply or view past projects from She Hacks Africa Bootcamp, click here.
Afro-Tech Girls, a Nigerian non-profit organization founded in 2015 with the aim of increasing the participation of young girls in STEM fields.
ATG hosts a Bootcamp each summer that aims to integrate STEM learning into everyday life for Nigerian girls. The Bootcamp is two weeks long and participants must solve social problems through design solutions.
Our goal is to help young girls see themselves as solutions creators and assets in their local environments. You can see them.
To succeed in the tech industry, women must be driven and committed. It takes time, just like any other good thing. These communities ensure that they have the resources and support necessary to succeed.