Impact Stories from Empowering Women and Girls Policy Area
Fellow(s): Fellow speaks on LEAP Africa annual conference panel – Damilola Asaleye
Fellow Damilola Asaleye (Nigeria, 2020-2021) recently spoke on a panel at LEAP Africa’s Social Innovators Program (SIPA) 2022 conference. LEAP Africa is “a youth-focused leadership development organization committed to raising leaders that will transform Africa.” Damilola highlighted her organizations, Ashdam Solar Company Limited and Girls and Women Technological Empowerment Organization (GWTEO), sharing her mission of “closing the gender gap in technology and bringing energy security to last-mile communities in Nigeria.” She also encouraged African youths to “develop sustainability through monitoring and evaluating their impacts starting from personal goals to organizational goals.” On top of this, Damilola was also recently named one of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society Rising Leaders Class of 2022. Read More »
Report Date...: 11/07/2022
Mentor(s): Mentor recognized in Top 100 or DEIB – Paria Rajai
Mentor Type: Impact
Mentor Paria Rajai has been presented with a “Walk the Walk Award” by recruiting platform Untapped for their Top 100 Leaders in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) of 2022. Untapped is a fully virtual recruiting platform designed to help businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies develop globally representative workforces, develop engaging virtual content and measure return on investment for their DEIB efforts.
Paria is CEO of ModelExpand, “an inclusive workplace strategy firm focused on radically accelerating the presence of historically underrepresented talent in the workforce.” ModelExpand has brought inclusive hiring practices to brands including Levi’s, Lyft and Twitch. She previously worked in the Business and Human Rights Division at Yahoo. Paria has been an active mentor and delegate with TechWomen since 2014.
Report Date...: 10/31/2022
Fellow(s): Mentor leads Fulbright Specialist mission in Tajikistan – Erin Keeley
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2022
TechWomen mentor Erin Keeley recently completed a Fulbright Specialist assignment in Tajikistan. Erin provided workshops and mentored entrepreneurs in the National Association of Business Women Tajikistan Business Accelerator and the United States Alumni Network of Tajikistan. She also met with Access, Flex, and Fulbright students in Khujand and Dushanbe. TechWomen Fellows supported Erin throughout her time in Tajikistan, including Mahina Usmonova (2016), Anzurat Kosimiva (2016), Manzura Khurshed (2022), Matriba Akhmedova (2015), and Sumbulmo Nekqadamova (2015). Erin’s visit culminated in a panel of TechWomen and TechGirls in the American Space in Dushanbe discussing career journeys, TechWomen, and other U.S. State Department programs. The accomplished panelists, including Anzurat, Natalya Tyudina (2018), Zevar Bordachyova Davlatmamadova (2018) and Adolat Shabozova (2022), shared inspiring stories of their time in the United States, critical decisions and career advances following the program.Read More »
Report Date...: 10/10/2022
Fellow discusses tech journey on TV and podcast interviews
Fellow(s): Roshaan Saeed
Fellow Roshaan Saeed of Pakistan (2022) was recently featured on National Television of Pakistan (PTV) to speak about her Techwomen journey. During the interview, she spoke about the application process and why eligible women should make the attempt. She also shed light on the three cornerstones of mentorship within the program and how it provides maximum exposure through networking.
In addition to this interview, Roshaan also recently spoke on an episode of Happy Chirp, one of the most followed women-based podcasts in Pakistan. There, she discussed her STEM career journey, disclosing challenges she faced such as harassment. She encouraged women to move confidently in their careers and inspire cultural change in their workplaces. “Once you have decided to step into professional life, prepare yourself for any circumstances that will come on your way,” Roshaan explained. “You have to fight for it and stay firm and persistent towards your goals.”
Report Date...: 10/3/2022
Fellow solar-training initiative forms U.S. partnership
Fellow(s): Gisele Beatrice Sonfack
A fellow-founded initiative, Women in Engineering and Technology (WENTECH), created by Fellow Gisele Beatrice Sonfack (Cameroon, 2016) has recently launched its first solar energy training with a new U.S. based partner, Remote Energy. Since September 12th, 14 young women have started training to become instructors with partner Remote Energy, who has provided training and materials for WENTECH with the objective of developing at least one instructor in each major city in Cameroon to facilitate trainings and impact in local schools. Gisele created WENTECH in 2017 to attract and empower women in Cameroon to STEM fields, following her participation in Techwomen in 2016. Since its founding, WENTECH has trained and empowered over 2,000 girls in Cameroon in solar power with the support of local partners Douala Advanced Vocational Training Center and Limbé Advanced Vocational Training Center. That support system has since expanded to include international partnership with Remote Energy.
Report Date...: 9/26/2022
Fellow holds agricultural trainings for rural women
Fellow(s): Rym Khemiri Moussaoui
In continuity with Alyssa for Rural Women Investment (ARWI), the action plan project developed by the Tunisian team of TechWomen 2020-2021, fellow Rym Khemiri Moussaoui provided a capacity-building training workshop for rural women workers in agriculture. The goal is to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and promote financial autonomy. Rym shares that she was pleased “to use all the pedagogic tools I have learned in my last Training of Trainers (TOT) and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) certifications financed by the Techwomen professional development stipend,” which was provided for fellows of the 2020-2021 virtual program. This event was carried out as part of the Action and Innovation Fund for Refugee Entrepreneurs (FAIRE) project, co-financed by the European Union and implemented by COSPE, an Italian NGO operating in the North West region of Tunisia.
Report Date...: 9/26/2022
Fellow leads Technovation teams to world semi-finals
Fellow(s): Maral Khudaibergenova
Under the leadership of regional coordinator and Fellow Maral Khudaibergenova (2018) two teams from Turkmenistan reached the world semi-finals of the international Technovation Girls competition for the first time ever.
Technovation Girls is a volunteer-led social entrepreneurship competition for young women. With the guidance of mentors, participants develop and present mobile applications designed to address a local issue. This summer, 150 girls took part with the help of mentors and volunteers serving from Turkmenistan and abroad.
“The program is unique in that it encourages children to notice existing problems and develop solutions,” Maral explained. “Participation helps girls develop skills such as design thinking, project management, time management, marketing, business planning, and programming.”
Report Date...: 9/19/2022
Fellow featured on podcast for women in tech
Fellow(s): Salma Bekkouche
Fellow Salma Bekkouche (Algeria, 2018) was recently featured on the WTM (WomenTechMakers) Algiers podcast to give advice on achieving career success as women in Engineering. Together with the hostess, Salma discussed her advice for women engineers seeking work in a competitive and limited labor market. She advises to “follow the right people, build your network and personal brand, establish a habit of “technology watching”, look for a mentor, join communities of STEM, apply to exchange programs, stay curious and read books such as Lean In and The Startup of You.”
Salma also recently served as a jurist in the SCALE: Snai3i Camp of Algerian Little Entrepreneurs, a youth competition of three teams who learn to develop and present business plans that utilize skills learned during a preceding five-day camp.
Report Date...: 9/19/2022
Seed grant initiative earns spot with digital accelerator
Fellow(s): “Nezha Larhrissi, Salima Kaissi”
A seed grant-winning Techwomen impact initiative, eSTEM Morocco, was recently selected among seven global organizations for the Aspen Digital Equity Accelerator. Founded in 2014 by Moroccan Fellows Nezha Larhrissi (2013) and Salima Kaissi (2013), eSTEM Morocco provides access and introductions to STEM disciplines for girls and women in Morocco. They host camps, conferences and challenges, and conduct official ambassadorship of Technovation Girls in Morocco. “As part of the grant, we are working on a digital app which will provide 50,000 Moroccan girls with advice, support and effective orientation,” Nezha explained.
The Aspen Digital Accelerator is a four-month mentorship and training program designed to help select international nonprofits scale their efforts. eSTEM Morocco was selected out of 170 applications. In addition to mentorship, winners will receive a cash grant of more than $100,000 USD.
Report Date...: 9/12/2022
Fellow empowers 120 girls with Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp
Fellow(s): Damilola Asaleye
Policy Area(s): Economic Impact, Education Diplomacy/Mentoring, Empowering Women and Girls, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Sustainability, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Youth Engagement
Fellow Damilola Asaleye of Nigeria (2020-2021) recently helped produce the Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp, a five-day program for high school girls organized by the Girls and Women Technological Empowerment Organization (GWTEO).
The summer camp takes a holistic approach to activities relevant to girls and women that will enhance their self confidence and abilities to become sustainable technology leaders and change makers. Damilola, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ashdam Solar Company, helped in the production of learning sessions on the topics of basic solar installation, upcycling, sustainable agriculture, financial literacy, information and communication technologies, leadership skills, teamwork, healthy living and visioning. The Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp is not the only stop on Damilola’s summer of women and girls’ empowerment. She is also taking part in the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp in Akure, Nigeria with close to 400 girls over the following weeks.
“My summer of impacting girls started yesterday Monday 15th August with the Green Tech Girls Summer Bootcamp,” Damilola recently shared, “and I’ve got my hyper attitude on with adrenaline pumping.”
Report Date...: 8/22/2022