May 23rd marked the 4th annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit, featuring panels designed to “break down barriers and showcase the brilliant talents of women who tech.” The Women Who Tech Globally panel was moderated by Author and Trainer Beth Kanter and featured Director of Strategic Partnerships at IIESF Heather Ramsey, Communications and Marketing Associate at Akili Dada, Mary Patton Davis, and the Executive Director of Akili Dada, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, along with program participants from each organization. The event involved over 600 participants from across the nation, showcasing the remarkable power of technology to bring people together.
According to Beth Kanter on her blog, the panel was able to add a global twist to the conference by bringing in participants from San Francisco, Rwanda, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt. This group included TechWomen alumna Mentee Loubna Lahmici from Algeria who discussed the challenges of being a woman founder in North Africa. Loubna successfully launched the first online coupon website in Algeria. Read more about how Loubna is transforming internet shopping in Algeria here.
Chema Gargouri, Director of E-Mediat and WES Tunisia, and Ghada Bahig, TechWomen 2011 Mentee from Egypt, discussed Women’s Empowerment, Social Media, and Revolution. Ghada explained, “Social media has changed the way leadership works for women in Egypt.” Similarly regarding Tunisia, stated Chema, “Tunisian women used their blogs, twitters during the revolution. Our participation was not a shy participation.” Sukaina Al-Nasrawi, Associate Social Affairs Officer at UN ESCWA and TechWomen alumna, also participated.
During the panel, Heather also discussed IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives (WLI), TechWomen, E-Mediat, Women in Technology (WIT) and the newly launched Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Tunisia.
According to an infographic recently published on Women Who Tech’s website, women make up over half the professional work force and hold more Bachelors and graduate degrees than men, but they hold only 11% of executive positions at Fortune 500 companies and own only 5% of technology start-ups. Moreover, although women have made significant advances in the tech world, they are rarely quoted as experts by the mainstream media, and they are significantly underrepresented on panels at major technology conferences.
Women Who Tech’s goal is not only to provide women in technology professions an open platform to share their experiences and insights, but also to give them greater visibility and create a vibrant community through which they can find support for their creative and professional aspirations.
To learn more about TechWomen’s participation at Women Who Tech, please contact us.