Impact Stories from Economic Impact Policy Area
Fellow leads session on IT security at global conference
Fellow(s): Ameni Channoufi
This week, 2014 fellow Ameni Channoufi was a featured speaker at the Women Tech Global Conference 2020, a virtual conference that connected over 100,000 women, minorities and allies in tech from 181 countries. The three-day event featured over 200 speakers who shared their expertise on panels, technical workshops and networking sessions. Ameni, a Public Key Infrastructure and IT consultant, led a session titled “Securing T Identities in IoT.”
In her talk, Ameni gave best practices for securing personal identification and passport information in Internet of Things applications such as home automation systems. She also spoke about protecting sensitive information as smart cities increasingly use IoT to collect data and improve transportation systems, power plants, hospitals and other community services.
Report Date...: 6/15/20
Mentor(s): Anar Simpson (mentor) and Erica Lockheimer (mentor)
Company: LinkedIn Learning, Technovation
Mentor Type: Impact, Professional
This week, TechWomen mentors Anar Simpson and Erica Lockheimer were featured speakers for the 2020 IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference, a month-long virtual series for women in technology that offers sessions, live panel discussions, virtual networking opportunities and more. Erica, a Professional Mentor, is the vice president of engineering for LinkedIn Learning. Anar, an Impact Coach and TechWomen’s strategic partnership advisor, is also a Global Ambassador for Technovation.
In their session, “Leading in Engineering,” Anar and Erica spoke about how women can optimize their network, step into leadership and support other women along the way. Erica shared both the challenges and highlights from her career, giving tips for other women on career progression and embracing leadership opportunities. They also spoke about TechWomen, reflecting on the relationships created between mentors and Emerging Leaders. “I thought I was the mentor, but I learned so much. I realized I needed to have a global impact perspective, which was so critical,” said Erica. “They’re strong connections. They’re relationships for life.”
Anar concluded their session with a call to action, encouraging participants to expand their network, lean on others and embrace their own journey: “It’s your own unique path,” said Anar. “Be true to yourself.”
Report Date...: 6/1/20
Fellow and mentor collaborate for digital meetup
Fellow(s): Imene Henni Mansour, Maya Bisineer (mentor)
Country: Algeria, United States
This month, 2019 fellow Imene Henni Mansour launched Digital Meetup, a weekly virtual series meant to create a bridge between Silicon Valley and the MENA region and feature tech leaders sharing their expertise. Imene is hosting the weekly series in partnership with Innocom, a communications agency where she works as general manager.
In the debut session, Imene invited her TechWomen Professional Mentor Maya Bisineer to speak about tools, strategies and tactics businesses can use to create resiliency during the global pandemic. Maya is an entrepreneur, advisor and the director of product management at GoDaddy. In her session, Maya spoke about the value of long term thinking – focusing on the marathon, not the sprint – and how people in tech can bring a long term perspective to their businesses. She also spoke about how to build a resilient business that can flourish through hardship with an innovative and experimental mindset: “Always train hard and prepare for the unknown,” she advised.
Imene will continue to feature TechWomen mentors and fellows in Digital Meetup, working to share best practices for people in tech around the world. “I started with my mentors because they really encourage me,” she said.
Report Date...: 5/25/20
Fellow awarded Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Fellowship.
Fellow(s): Mercy Sosanya
2015 fellow Mercy Sosanya was recently named a recipient of the 2020-2021 Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Fellowship, a program that supports women from developing countries to pursue advanced graduate degrees in STEM fields at leading universities abroad.
Mercy is a nutritionist, PhD student and teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work focuses on improving the nutritional status of women, children and other vulnerable populations. Recently, she has been developing and evaluating a digital behavior change tool for teenage mothers in northern Nigeria that aims to both improve feeding practices as well as the nutrition status of the mothers and their young children.
The fellowship award will provide Mercy financial support for her research and allow her to continue leveraging technology to create solutions for young mothers and their children in Nigeria.
Report Date...: 5/25/20
Forced to close centers fellow makes online learning free for all
Fellow(s): Rana El Chemaitelly
2017 fellow Rana El Chemaitelly is the founder of The Little Engineer, an initiative that educates students of all ages in robotics, coding, AI, 3D modeling and more at their five centers throughout Lebanon. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, Rana made the early decision to close all her centers – home to high-touch surfaces for interactive STEM activities – in order to ensure the safety of the kids that participate in The Little Engineer’s 45 programs.
Rana, however, didn’t want to take learning opportunities away from students, especially as they faced increased difficulty learning at home. “I wanted to keep supporting kids and come out stronger,” she said. As a result, Rana made The Little Engineer online activities free to all students around the world, beginning with 3D modeling lessons in building and designing objects like boats, airplanes and houses. Rana knew that not all students would have the bandwidth to run her regular programs: “We had to be very fast-moving to enable everyone to be engaged online,” she says. Her solution was to use Tinkercad by Autodesk, a free app for 3D design and electronics. Word of the online programs spread, and The Little Engineer platform is now used by teachers and students in Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa and the U.S. “Teachers are focused on getting it right so they continue to provide a great educational experience for their students,” says Rana. “If we give opportunities to students, they can excel.”
Report Date...: 5/11/20
Fellow honored at With and For Girls Awards
Fellow(s): Fellow honored at With and For Girls Awards
Recently, 2017 fellow Carolyn Seaman was recognized for her work as a leader, educator and advocate for girls’ rights. Carolyn is the founder of Girls Voices, an initiative that trains and empowers adolescent girls in human rights, STEM skills and leadership. Girls Voices has reached over 300,000 girls through their programs, and has collaborated with the UN to create policies that seek to end child marriage, violence against women and human trafficking.
The awards ceremony, held this March in London by With and For Girls, honored 25 leaders of extraordinary girl-led and girl-centered initiatives. Girls Voices was recognized for promoting a girls’ rights movement in Nigeria and mobilizing girls to learn about their rights in order to positively affect their communities and contribute to national policy.
Report Date...: 5/11/20
Fellow innovates to support community during COVID-19
Fellow(s): Zebo Isakova
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 fellow Zebo Isakova has created two programs that provide resources and support to the Uzbek community.
Zebo first established a Telegram channel called “Together We are Stronger,” a space that connects users to psychologists who can support with feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as lawyers who can answer questions and provide resources for those who have lost their jobs. Zebo and her team also developed a Telegram bot where subscribers to Together We are Stronger can send in specific questions or concerns and get connected to the appropriate resources for their needs.
Zebo has also begun a second project, Media Aid During and After the Pandemic-2020 (MADAP-2020 ), which has already received funding from the European Union. MADAP-2020, which will soon be marketed as MediaAid4U, aims to combat disinformation associated with COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic in Uzbekistan. Zebo plans to debut MediaAid4U in October with a mobile app and Telegram bot that will assist with recognizing fake news in both Uzbek and English. She hopes that it will eventually be used internationally. Zebo is a project manager as well as the head of the international relations department for the Kokand State Pedagogical Institute. Recently, she collaborated with TechWomen mentor Eileen Brewer in Uzbekistan to mentor over 30 women on entrepreneurship and business.
Report Date...: 5/4/20
Fellow’s lab processes over 40000 coronavirus tests
Fellow(s): Ola Elgaddar
2017 fellow Ola Elgaddar has spearheaded the testing of over 40,000 samples from both Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to identify COVID-19 cases in the region. Ola is based in the United Arab Emirates as the medical director of Al Borg Medical Laboratories, one of the largest chain of private laboratories in the region. She was visiting the lab’s headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia when a lockdown was instated, and has been living there since.
As medical director, Ola, who is also an assistant professor of chemical pathology at Alexandria University, is responsible for every part of the testing process in both countries. She has selected and ordered the proper instruments, chosen the reagents and implements testing procedure on daily basis “We are helping the governments of both countries to test as much of the populations in both countries as possible,” says Ola. “Our team is working around the clock to test thousands of samples every day.”
Report Date...: 5/4/20
Fellow featured for mentoring girls in STEM
Fellow(s): Ruth Kaveke
2017 fellow Ruth Kaveke, founder of Pwani Teknowgalz, was featured in a recent article from Impacthub Media, a platform that features changemakers who are solving the challenges facing Africa and the world.
In “Shining Hope for Girls in Science & Technology,” Ruth shares her story of being raised by a single mother who pushed her to value education, as well as the challenges she faced as a woman often outnumbered by men in her school courses. Ruth also speaks about her work and impact as the founder of Pwani Teknowgalz, her organization that has empowered over 5,000 girls through STEM education. “It is hard for someone to join a career that they do not have someone to relate to,” Ruth says. “By women mentoring and being role models, I am confident more girls will pursue STEM careers.” Recently, Ruth has offered free tech skill training to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a class on website-building using WordPress.com.
Report Date...: 5/4/20
Fellow holds Los Angeles Digital Day for tech professionals
Fellow(s): Ines Nasri
Country: Tunisia, United States
2014 fellow Ines Nasri organized and hosted the first Los Angeles Digital Day, a series of online workshops and sessions held this week. Originally scheduled for September as an in-person event in downtown Los Angeles, Ines accelerated the schedule and shifted to online programming. “When we saw what is happening to businesses around the world due to the pandemic, we thought that the event is needed now more than ever,” she wrote. The two-day event was attended by over 170 professionals from Canada, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the United States.
Ines is a trainer, speaker and founder of WebPower Tunisie, a digital marketing agency that she founded in 2007. The Digital Day featured experts in digital marketing and innovation who spoke about the latest trends, digital challenges, digital readiness and more. Speakers also addressed the latest challenges that business owners and professionals are facing, sharing tips on productivity, optimizing working from home and communicating effectively with team members and customers. Impact Coach Eileen Brewer was a featured speaker, delivering a session on the five steps to a profitable pivot. “I always try to have someone from TechWomen in my events,” Ines said.
Report Date...: 4/27/20