Impact Stories from Education Diplomacy/Mentoring Policy Area
Fellow is first Jordanian to be named 2021 Influential Leader
Fellow(s): Hiba Shabrouq
This week, 2017 fellow Hiba Shabrouq was named a 2021 Influential Leader by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an international association that brings together business, students and educators to amplify innovation and impact business education. The annual initiative recognizes leaders who are using their business education to create impact.
Hiba, the first Jordanian to be honored by AACSB, was nominated by Princess Sumaya University For Technology. She was highlighted in the “Diversity and Inclusion” category. In her feature, Hiba is recognized for co-founding Ozwah, a 2017 TechWomen seed grant-winning mentorship and training program for Jordanian girls in orphanages. She is also a financial skills mentor at INJAZ, a Jordanian nonprofit that trains young people with entrepreneurship and financial skills.
Report Date...: 2/22/21
Mentor(s): Sheryl Walton
Mentor Type: Professional
TechWomen mentor Sheryl Walton shared her lessons on mentorship, diversity and the importance of cultural exchange in a recent interview hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The interview was a part of a month-long series in celebration of Black History Month that highlights women leaders sharing why diversity matters.
Sheryl, a senior manager for enterprise service desk and asset management at Autodesk, was interviewed by U.S. Department of State program manager Angela Woods and hosted on the Exchange Programs – U.S. Department of State Facebook page. During their conversation, Sheryl spoke about how she honors black history, and the importance of inclusion in the workplace: “The importance of us having a seat at the table is what is going to drive the success of technology,” she said. “It’s not going to happen by keeping us out.” Sheryl also spoke about serving as a TechWomen mentor and the lessons she’s learned along the way: “Be open, be honest, and bring another woman along with you during this journey,” she said. “I always try my best to send the elevator down to bring people back up.”
Report Date...: 2/15/21
Fellow authors post for UN Women’s Generation Equality
Fellow(s): Kyzzhibek Batyrkanova
2019 fellow Kyzzhibek Batyrkanova authored a post for UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign, writing about the challenges women and girls face and calling for greater awareness of gender issues among educators, media and leaders.
Kyzzhibek is the program director for the Kyrgyz Space Programme, an all-women team working to build Kyrgyzstan’s first nanosatellite. The core team is comprised of women ages 18-24, many of whom are not trained in STEM fields. Together, they are learning skills in robotics, 3D printing, engineering and satellite technology, innovating for their country and combatting stereotypes along the way.
In her post, Kyzzhibek writes that many expect their project to fail, just because of their gender: “The first element [for failure] for them is the presence of women and girls in the team,” she writes. As a response, Kyzzhibek and her team are motivated to fulfill their mission of educating women and girls in STEM while raising awareness about inequity. “The program has an amazing mission to empower girls and women in science and raise awareness about gender inequality and harmful social norms, which require systemic change,” she writes. “We want to show by our own example that girls are capable of anything, even reaching for the stars.”
Report Date...: 2/8/21
Fellow shares advice for women entrepreneurs in Jordan
Fellow(s): Reema Diab
2019 fellow Reema Diab was featured in an “Ask Me Anything” session for women in technology, sharing her experience as an entrepreneur and answering questions on how to succeed as a woman in technology in Jordan. The event was organized by the Exchange Alumni team at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan as part of their monthly sessions that feature exchange program alumni.
Reema is the founder of Galaxy Organization for Technology, an IT non- profit that empowers women and youth with STEM skills. Their latest course for kids offers hands-on training in robotics, teaching them about Arduino technology and helping them build small robots controlled by phones via Bluetooth. At the online event, Reema spoke about what makes a successful entrepreneur, how new businesses can seek funding and how her participation in the TechWomen program helped build her entrepreneurial skills. She also shared the obstacles that women face as entrepreneurs, giving the audience advice on succeeding as a woman in technology. “It can be difficult as a woman trying to compete,” she said. “Unfortunately, women often are not confident or underestimate their skills. It’s important to find a support system and to find a mentor.” She encouraged women to find their passion and work hard on their skills by seeking out programs that support their goals. “The TechWomen program was life-changing. Gathering with like-minded women opened doors for me to be a leader,” she said.
Report Date...: 1/25/21
Fellows launch training program for girls with UNICEF and UN
Fellow(s): Nazira Sheraly, Aiturgan Zulpukarova, Elena Chigibaeva, Gulzire Minbaeva
Cohort: 2016, 2017, 2018
2016 fellow Nazira Sheraly, 2017 fellow Aiturgan Zulpukarova and 2018 fellows Elena Chigibaeva and Gulzire Minbaeva have launched a new project for girls through Techaim, their initiative that provides mentorship to women and girls to grow and develop their STEM skills and expand their knowledge in business, leadership and more. Their new project, TechKyzdar, was launched with support from UNICEF Kyrgyzstan as well as the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
TechKyzdar, which officially began this week, is working with 220 girls aged 14-18 from 11 communities, teaching them about digital skills, social entrepreneurship, leadership and more. They also plan to work alongside Technovation Kyrgyzstan, encouraging the girls to apply their skills to creating innovative solutions to issues in their communities. Soon, the fellows will bring in mentors and guest speakers who will support the participants with their goals and inspire them to continue their educational journeys.
Report Date...: 1/25/21
Fellow facilitates STEM training for 700 teachers in Ekiti State
Fellow(s): Stella Uzochukwu
This week, 2019 fellow Stella Uzochukwu held a three-day training for schoolteachers in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Stella is the country director for Odyssey Educational Foundation, an NGO with a mission to equip African children, particularly girls, with STEM skills. Through her work with Odyssey, Stella has trained girls in computer science, robotics and more, as well as helped run an after-school STEM program for over 40 public and private schools in Nigeria.
Stella led the training in partnership with NSF, a local education management company. Together, they worked with 700 newly-employed educators at four primary schools, providing workshops on helping children thrive in a classroom environment, how to manage a classroom and how to best support students with special needs. Stella led a hands-on STEM education activity, training the teachers on using activity-based STEM learning to help children learn in-demand 21st century skills.
In late 2020, Stella traveled to Borno State for a five-day teacher training sponsored by Shell, demonstrating how teachers at Aisha Buhari Primary School can incorporate STEM learning into their curriculum. Next month, she will serve as a judge at Femtech Fest, a virtual hackathon for female entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Report Date...: 1/18/21
Emerging Leaders share their progress at Regional Summits
Fellow(s): 2020-2021 Emerging Leaders
In November 2020, Emerging Leaders began working with their country cohorts to brainstorm and develop an action plan that addresses a socioeconomic need in their communities. The latest post on the TechWomen blog provides an overview of the 2020 Regional Summits where Emerging Leaders had an opportunity to share their progress, workshop their ideas and get inspired by women leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the three Regional Summits — for country teams in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South Asia — country teams met with Impact Coaches and Peer Advisors in three rotations in order to further refine their plans and develop projects that create maximum impact.
Each Regional Summit also featured opening keynotes from inspiring woman leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area: Meg Garlinghouse, the head of social impact at LinkedIn, Nikkia Reveillac, head of research at Twitter and Amy Weaver, Salesforce’s president and chief legal officer.
Report Date...: 1/18/21
Cameroon Girls Hackathon empowers young girls to innovate
Fellow(s): Horore Bebga
Last month, 2018 fellow Horore Bebga hosted the inaugural Cameroon Girls Hackathon, a four-day program that empowered 30 girls from seven secondary schools throughout Douala to create solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hackathon was organized in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon and was hosted by the Dewey International School of Applied Sciences.
The project was a part of Likalo Education, the STEM education initiative Horore co-founded that educates young people with 21st century skills. Over the course of four days, the girls were brought through various modules including design thinking, 3D modeling, designing a chatbot and learning about mobile app development. They also had access to local and international mentors and experts in entrepreneurship and technology.
After the training, the girls were divided into six teams, working together to create solutions to help overcome the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The girls pitched their projects at the end of the event, and three winners were chosen by a jury: an app that translates health information into local languages, an online self-screening health app and a chatbot solution that makes it easier for individuals to find employment. All three projects will receive continued support through Likalo Education in order to further develop and execute their ideas.
Report Date...: 1/11/21
Fellow’s initiative wins UN Global Climate Action Award
Fellow(s): Ryme Assaad
RISE2030, the green tech initiative co-founded by 2018 fellow Ryme Assaad, was recently named a winner of the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action Awards. The awards recognized 13 projects that are innovating for climate action and demonstrating leadership in their countries. RISE2030 was a winner in the “Women for Results” category.
Established in 2019, RISE2030 is a community-led initiative that empowers underserved women and youth through training, education and employment opportunities. Their projects – which include solar installation, literacy training and support for women farmers – aim to create sustainable communities and contribute to Lebanon’s energy transition. Their latest project will create 500 job opportunities for people affected by the 2020 Beirut explosion. Last month, all award winners showcased in a series of special online events.
Report Date...: 1/11/21
Fellow shares career advice in Instagram Live
Fellow(s): Azhar Mambetova
This week, 2019 fellow Azhar Mambetova was interviewed by 2018 fellow Elena Chigibaeva, speaking about her career journey and sharing best practices for entering a digital career. The interview was hosted by Techaim, the TechWomen fellow-led initiative that provides mentorship to women and girls to grow and develop their STEM skills and expand their knowledge in business, leadership and project management. Techaim was a recipient of a 2019 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund grant.
Azhar is the managing director of digital business and distant banking services for Kompanion Bank. She is also currently pursuing an MBA at Central European University. During the interview, hosted on Techaim’s Instagram page, Azhar spoke about her role overseeing Kompanion’s digital transformation and creating digital finance services for Kyrgyzstan’s population. She also answered audience questions, giving advice on pursuing a digital profession and sharing about the lessons she has learned throughout her career.
Report Date...: 1/11/21