Women in Tech Illustrated Book

It was such a pleasure to be part of a project by Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development Germany (BMZ) to eliminate the barriers of women being highly underrepresented in the growing global tech sector and support women’s participation in the digital economy.

BMZ published an illustrated book in English and German with portraits of female role models from the tech industry. The book traces biographies of inspiring women in the tech sector from industrial and developing countries.

I made the cover and I am so proud to be able to tell my story and inspire and also be inspired by all the amazing women in the book.

When I started my tech journey I struggled to find female role models. I wish I had such a book. This is my new bedtime story book for my daughter. We will read a story a night and I know she will grow up knowing that she can be or do whatever she sets her mind to do.

Special Shout-out to Larisa Akrofie from @Levers in heels who worked on some of the interviews and gathering the stories. I am also glad I am captured in my beautiful Vlisco

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Launch of Corporate Gender Diversity Index & Female African Superhero

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The much-anticipated launch of the Gender Diversity Index Project, Digital Skills Assessment Tool and female African Superhero Character, came-off on Friday, at the premises of Soronko Academy. Soronko Academy is the first coding and Human Centered Design School in West Africa. It is a space where innovation meets creativity. Here, there is the acquisition of technical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

The event was graced by important personalities and people from all walks of life. The MC of the day, Mr. John Appiah, inaugurated the ceremony and asked the women present to share their thoughts on how they balance work and family lives. The respondents gave insightful contributions and suggestions on how to maintain an optimal balance between work and family life.

The founder of Heighten Up, Miss Doreen Cofie, spoke about the gender diversity project which is being run in partnership with Soronko Academy with support from Open Society Foundations and officially got it launched. The gender diversity index is an annual national ranking of the performance of organizations in promoting gender diversity in their corporate environment. The report will analyze the performance of all participating institutions; with a greater analysis on fields with fewer women (STEM fields).

The report will delve deeper into the impact of gender diversity on the business performance of participating institutions. For organizations to list as part of the project, they must be registered Ghanaian Institutions.

The CEO of Soronko Academy, Mrs. Regina Honu, spoke about the Skills Assessment Tool for digital jobs for women, a project which is jointly being undertaken in collaboration with MasterCard Foundation. The skills assessment tool is to aid women to access digital jobs and help women to know if they are trainable or employable after they take the test.

She shed more light on the research conducted so far, on the gap between the skills young people had and the skills needed in today’s workplace especially when it came to digital jobs.The new African Superhero who has special digital skills superpowers was also unveiled on the day. The female superhero, named Rama, is the character designed to inspire girls and women to acquire digital skills and learn to create technology. She will be the face of the Skills Assessment which is available at http://www.mydigitalskills.org. Prior to the unveiling, a prequel of the character’s life was read which enthralled the audience.

There was a cake-cutting segment to fully launch the various initiatives and also to commemorate International Women’s Day. Indeed, it was an exciting evening with lots of great conversations, networking, food, music, innovation and creativity highlighted and showcased.

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Our CEO meets Angela Merkel

From our CEO

“I had an interesting session in a closed-door meeting with 7 other amazing startups in the ecosystem as we met and interacted with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her delegation on her one day visit to Ghana. First I would like to commend Impact Hub Accra for the great work they are doing and being such amazing hosts. I loved how I could stand out in my beautiful Vlisco fabric and dress. I also had to share how I am proud Ashesi University alum and let her know it is the Best University in Ghana. I am glad how our ecosystem is growing and evolving and how we are now collaborating more.”

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Our Mentor gets Chevening Schorlarship

Yesterday I was at the British High Commissioners residence to celebrate with an amazing young woman that I am so proud of. I met Nura when she was in the second year of University at Ashesi University. I had gone to give a talk and she was thinking about if she should do business or MIS. I shared how my first coding class beat me proper and I wanted to change courses. I didn’t and worked hard til I loved my coding and computer science class. I talked about Tech Needs Girls and she signed up to be a mentor. She designed a course to teach Alice Programming to our girls She volunteered for some programs and attended an open house ceremony we had for mentors and mentees where she met the CEO of Dreamoval impressed him and got an internship and then a full-time job

When she told me she was applying for CheVening ScholarShip I was excited and read over her essay which was brilliant. I got the opportunity to speak at #GreatX a Tedx styled event organized by the British High Commission and I did a shameless plug to say how brilliant she is and how she deserves the scholarship. I spoke to some alumni of the scholarship to get tips for her interview.

Long post short Nura Abdul Rahman got the Chevening Scholarship and invited me to share this amazing moment with her. Out of 50,000 applications, she was part of the selected 22. She is going to study for a Master’s in Information Technology at the University of Glasgow. She is passionate about giving back and supporting more women and girls to study and pursue careers in Tech.

I can’t wait for her to get back and us working together. I love how she keeps chasing her dreams and works hard. She is a great role model. I and the entire @Tech needs Girls family to congratulate her!! Congratulations to all the other amazing Chevening scholars

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Train the Trainer

One of the goals coming from the TGR Foundation, STEM Studio was to organize and train trainers at the academy and in our network on project-based learning and share all the new resources on bringing STEM to life. In order to ensure that students at the academy have the best experience learning about critical thinking and problem solving it is essential that our trainers are trained in all the new methodologies and approaches to achieve that goal.

The 2 day workshop had trainers learning about project-based learning, online quizzes and games to access students in a fun way, problem solving with challenges, padlet to get even the most quiet student to share and contribute in class, the design thinking methodology which supports effective idea sharing, team work and the feedback process with the gallery walk through. They also got to assemble a fold scope. Foldscope is the ultra-affordable, paper microscope that you assemble yourself. Designed to be extremely portable, durable, and to give optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes (magnification of 140X and 2 micron resolution), Foldscope brings hands-on microscopy to new places! They got examine hair and the trainers went outside to examine other things with the power of a microscope in the hands and their cell phones

Then we had a session on using Scratch for game development by Kevin from Leti Arts. We had three trainers who have joined our network from the Volta Region that we trained and will support as they train others in the Volta region. The trainers also got the opportunity to bond, network ad work as a team.

We are excited to see the impact as the trainers transform their class and bring STEM to life through hands-on activities that develop strengths, define passions and outline career paths.

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TigerWoods Foundation STEM Studio

The TGR Foundation international STEM Studio is a really amazing experience. I am in presence of educators and curriculum development specialists from 15 countries worldwide. Day two saw us develop methodologies for project-based learning. We showed different ways to bring STEM to life for children. From cool tech games that are STEM brain teasers and breakout rooms and games so you actually learn a lot through play, to a microscope that you can fold with paper and lens and discover new things around you to a gallery walk-through of ideas in design thinking and brainstorming process to mindfulness where children learn to focus and concentrate The list is endless.

We also got to interact with a system that allows parks rangers from California parks to give the children a tour of parks and answer questions with the children sitting in the classroom. So they bring the parks and nature to the children in classrooms all over the world.

I got the opportunity to disect a brain. Hmmm for years I learned parts of the brain with just pictures and memorizing data. Finally, it all came to life where I finally got it. To see and interact with a brain and understand how it works.

Can’t wait to get back home and implement all the new things I am learning.#TGREduCreate #soronkoacademy #LovingSTEM USADF