Impact Stories from Professional Growth Policy Area
Fellow interviewed about her career in technology
Fellow(s): Chepkemoi Magdaline
This week, 2017 fellow Chepkemoi Magdaline was interviewed about her career in computer science by Girl Talks Tech, a website that brings diverse stories and inspiration from women in tech around the world. Chepkemoi is the founder and executive director of Eldohub, an education technology platform that brings digital skills and ICT training to young people, focusing on empowering them to solve community challenges using technology.
In her interview, Chepkemoi spoke about her journey from growing up in a rural village to becoming a computer scientist, company founder and recipient of the Anitab.org Pass it on Award. She also discussed the need for more women mentors and role models: “We need women…to speak up, gain confidence, gain visibility and impact other women and girls,” she said. “I recently participated in the Techwomen program … [TechWomen] enabled me to build a business model for my startup, and I built genuine sustainable professional connections.”
Report Date...: 2/10/20
TechWomen shares upcoming delegation trip to Rwanda
Country: Rwanda, Tunisia, United States
Cohort: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
This week, TechWomen published a blog post sharing the announcement of the two delegation trip countries for 2020: Rwanda and Tunisia. Delegations are a cornerstone of the TechWomen program, serving a vital role in growing and sustaining the TechWomen network. The trips strengthen an international network of women in STEM fields, creating partnership and exchange between the United States and TechWomen program countries.
Later this month, 18 TechWomen mentors will kick-off the first delegation of the year in Kigali, Rwanda, joined by 15 traveling fellows from Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and more. There, the group will join forces with nearly 30 Rwandan fellows who are currently hard at work organizing a week of educational and inspirational programming. Since participating in TechWomen, the Rwandan fellows have created initiatives that inspire girls to pursue STEM fields, provided support for survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi, brought digital literacy training to youth and more.
Report Date...: 2/3/20
Alumnae launch first TechWomen/TechGirls Club in Kyrgyzstan
Fellow(s): Kyrgyzstan Fellows
Cohort: 2018, 2019
Last month, TechWomen alumnae of multiple cohorts organized and launched Kyrgyzstan’s first TechWomen/TechGirls Club. Hosted by the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, the inaugural event convened 14 TechWomen fellows, six TechGirls alumnae and five representatives of the U.S. Embassy Bishkek for a day of programming and networking.
The day was meant to build connection between TechWomen and TechGirls, celebrate the Kyrgyz community of alumnae and create blueprints for future collaboration. The day began with an introduction from Donald Lu, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, who shared a story about his own mother’s challenges and career journey in tech. After a welcome speech from 2019 fellow Azhar Mambetova, 2018 fellow Elena Chigibaeva and the club coordination committee led a discussion about the TechWomen/TechGirls Club road map and vision, dividing the attendees into small groups to brainstorm opportunities and activities. Groups brainstormed monthly trainings and workshops for the club, as well as a mentoring challenge for teachers in local Bishkek schools.
The day concluded with an “I am Remarkable” masterclass delivered by Azhar meant to motivate, empower and inspire attendees. It was emotional,” said the fellows. “It helped all of us once again remind ourselves why we are remarkable.”
Report Date...: 2/3/20
Fellow delivers TEDx talk in Amman
Fellow(s): Afnan Ali
This Saturday, 2011 fellow Afnan Ali delivered a TEDx talk at the TEDxAlAbdali event in Amman, Jordan. Afnan is the founder of Eureka Tech Academy, Jordan’s first science academy with a mission to educate children on technology and engineering through innovative and hands-on programming.
The event’s theme was “Transform,” and amplified ideas and achievements that introduce transformative topics. In her talk, “From Education to Innovation,” Afnan spoke about how to prepare the next generation of changemakers and innovators, sharing best practices on empowering and motivating young people. Using Eureka Tech Academy as a case study, Afnan shared success stories of children who have gone through the program since its inception five years ago. Since its founding, Eureka has been nationally recognized for its model; in 2017, Queen Rania visited the initiative, meeting with students in their programs.
Report Date...: 2/3/20
Fellows hold first TechWomen Nigeria Alumnae Conference
Fellow(s): Dr. Joy Agene, Damilola Ade, Carolyn Seaman, Busayo Durojaiye, Olasimbo Sojinrin, Olamide Ayeni Babajide, Ogu Maduewesi
Cohort: 2014, 2015, 2017
Recently, fellows from multiple TechWomen cohorts collaborated to host the first TechWomen Nigeria Alumni conference, an interactive one-day event for STEM professionals, social entrepreneurs and women in tech. The conference was held in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria as well as the Entrepreneurship & Skill Development Centre of the University of Lagos.
With a theme of Advancing the Global Leadership of Nigerian Women in STEM, the conference convened over 200 women for a day of in-depth group discussion, panels, keynotes and Q&A’s with local women leaders. Alongside Consul General Claire Pierangelo, TechWomen fellows Dr. Joy Agene (2014) and Damilola Ade (2017) opened the event, introducing TechWomen’s mission of empowering international women in STEM fields. 2017 fellow Carolyn Seaman, founder of Girls Voices Initiative, led a panel with local founders, entrepreneurs and academics on how to empower women and girls in technology. Later, 2014 fellow Busayo Durojaiye, CEO of BusinessBrace360, was joined by 2015 fellow Olasimbo Sojinrin of Solar Sister and 2017 fellow Olamide Ayeni Babajide of Pearl Recycling for a discussion that shared best practices on building confident tech entrepreneurs. After breakout sessions and practical workshops themed on soft skills for women in tech, tech entrepreneurship and tips for the 2020 TechWomen application, 2014 fellow Ogu Maduewesi closed out the day, sharing takeaways and encouraging participants to continue to strengthen the network of women in STEM in Nigeria.
Report Date...: 1/27/20
Fellow founds sustainability initiative to empower women
Fellow(s): Ryme Assaad
2018 fellow Ryme Assaad recently co-launched Rise2030, a green tech initiative that empowers underserved communities through training, education and empowerment. Ryme, the initiative’s co-founder and executive director, is also the co-founder of My ioLab, the 2018 seed grant-winning initiative from team Lebanon. Rise2030 received funding from GIZ, a German-based company that supports companies and foundations in achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Through providing solar training for youth, women and refugees, Rise2030 has a mission to upskill vulnerable populations and enable them to contribute to a sustainable future in Lebanon. Rise2030 has already launched an all-women solar team to train community members in Qaroun to design and install an on-grid solar photovoltaic system at a local waste sorting facility. In addition to solar training, the team plans to support rural women-run businesses and implement literacy training for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Report Date...: 1/27/20
Fellows launch TIKE a social impact project for educators
Fellow(s): Imene Henni Mansour, Celia Ouabas
This week, 2019 fellows Imene Henni Mansour and Celia Ouabas launched TIKE (Teacher’s Initiative for Kids Education), a program that supports Algeria’s educators in order to positively impact students and improve the country’s education system.
The fellows began their project during the 2019 action-planning process, working alongside their country teammates to address Algeria’s high student drop-out rate. At TIKE’s first workshop, the fellows gathered local primary school teachers to share their experiences and challenges. “Teachers are the pioneers of the whole educational system,” says Celia. “By creating a network and offering a space, support and guidance for them to exchange about the struggles and challenges they go through in their daily job, we work together towards finding effective solutions.”
Report Date...: 1/27/20
TechWomen and TechGirls kick-off club activities at summit
Fellow(s): Sitora Salaeva, Sevara Siradjeva, Ozoda Ismailova, Shodiyabegim Bakhtiyorzoda, Munira Begmuratova, Elena Selezneva, Saida Yusupova, Elvira Sheina, Natalya Yusupova, Yulduz Khudaykulova, Mariya Savatyugina, Nargiza Kholmatova, Zebinisa Mirakbarova
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
This month, TechWomen and TechGirls alumnae convened in Tashkent for the inaugural Uzbekistan Alumnae Summit, a gathering where alumnae connected, planned for future collaborations and established Uzbekistan’s TechWomen/TechGirls Club chapter. TechWomen/TechGirls Clubs provide a space for career counseling, mentoring, leadership development and more. Launched in 2018, the cross-program clubs expanded from seven program countries in MENA to now include four more countries in CSA.
The event was organized by the coordinating committee that consists of 2019 fellow Sitora Salaeva, 2016 fellows Sevara Siradjeva and Ozoda Ismailova, as well as TechGirls alumnae Sadiya Abbasova and Sevara Akramkhanova. They were joined by fellows Shodiyabegim Bakhtiyorzoda (2015), Munira Begmuratova (2016), Elena Selezneva (2016), Saida Yusupova (2016), Elvira Sheina (2017), Natalya Yusupova (2017), Yulduz Khudaykulova, (2018), Mariya Savatyugina (2019), Nargiza Kholmatova (2019) and Zebinisa Mirakbarova (2019) and representatives of the U.S Embassy Joanne Kramb and Utkirbek Tadjimov.
The alumnae worked in small teams based on their expertise and interests, brainstorming solutions to leading issues in their communities and participating in sessions where TechGirls alumnae gathered valuable career advice from TechWomen fellows. Throughout the day, the participants fulfilled a foundational goal of the clubs: to encourage connection and to empower TechWomen to mentor and support TechGirls. Looking forward, the teams plan to reconvene for a second summit in July to share the progress made on implementing their projects.
Report Date...: 1/20/20
Fellow wins Zero Project Award for EdTech platform
Fellow(s): Angele Messa
This month, 2019 fellow of Cameroon Angele Messa won the Zero Project Award for her initiative, EduClick. This year’s awards were given to practices and policies that support people with disabilities within education. Angele will be presented with the award next month at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.
Angele founded the EdTech platform to offer alternative learning methods for those who don’t have access to formal education in Cameroon. With both offline and online educational methods, EduClick supports students, recent graduates and young professionals who are looking to gain marketable skills. They also offer an after-school program that includes STEM Labs and workshops, introducing students to VR, game development, puzzles and more. EduClick also recently debuted an extracurricular STEM Saturdays program designed to make STEM exciting and fun for young children. In the future, Angele hopes to build education telecenters for refugees and displaced people.
Report Date...: 1/20/20
Fellow awarded postdoctoral fellowship for women in science
Fellow(s): Fatima Zohra Benhamida
Policy Area(s): Professional Growth
2017 fellow of Algeria Fatima Zohra Benhamida was recently selected for the
competitive Science by Women fellowship run through Women for Africa
Foundation. The fellowship, now in its fifth year, selects top African female
researchers working in technology for a six‐month postdoctoral fellowship in one of its Centers of Excellence in Spain. The program’s ultimate goal is to enable African women researchers to return to their communities and bring their experience to solve challenges in food security, water, energy, economic science and more. Fatima has a PhD in computer science and is an assistant professor at the National School of Computer Science in Algiers. She is also a board member of the TechWomen/TechGirls Club in Algeria.
Each Center of Excellence accepts one female researcher; Fatima is currently
placed at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, working alongside a team that
focuses on addressing socioeconomic issues through technology. She recently
authored an article for the foundation, chronicling her experience thus far and
reflecting on the technical and leadership skills she has gained. “Not only was I
able to present my work and share my knowledge with my peers, I have also been offered the privilege to contribute in European projects that work to solve complex issues (energy and climate change, human wellbeing, eHealth…),” Fatima writes. “These experiences will allow me to come back to my community with innovative processes and new perspectives to tackle the great challenges faced by my country.”
Report Date...: 1/13/20