1) What is WIT, the WIT objectives and aspirations?
Safaricom Women in technology (WIT) is a Network of passionate ambitious women working within Technology related careers across industry. The network, championed by women working within Technology division of Safaricom was founded late 2012.
WIT has two main objectives
“Advancing women in Technology –From the classroom to the boardroom”
Through WIT initiatives, we aspire to bridge the wide gender gap existing within technology industries in Kenya by empowering women at all levels of their technology careers and providing them with the exposure, networks, and support and necessary to excel in the industry
2) WIT initiatives;
WIT’s mission is achieved through a multi-pronged approach largely divided into five focus areas;
I. Kids go tech: “ Creativity in innovation”
A program focusing on children between 5-16 years of age, Kidz go tech is aimed at nurturing creativity and innovation in children through practical science and technology fun filled activities. The program is organized through collaboration with the university of Nairobi Lablab club and the Funkidz team.
Each season of Kidz go tech exposes children to 6 weeks of fun filled creative innovation through Lego building exercises. So far Kidz go tech has had 2 successful seasons and an outreach session in partnership with Banda School.
II. 47/47 High school outreach and mentorship
This is a “see-and-believe” program aimed at reaching out to at least 47 girls’ high schools in one year (drawn from all the 47 counties in Kenya). Through this program, WIT aims to demystify technology by exposing girls to the real tech world and to women already working in the technology industry therefore inspiring them to consider careers in technology.
The program which started in 2013 has already reached out to over 27 high schools across the country so far. Some of the schools that have had a chance to visit one of Safaricom ’s Switching centers include;
III. Campus Outreaches
Campus outreach programs target female engineering students at institutions of higher learning, the outreach programs provide support needed to make the female upcoming engineers successful. Such avenues include campus career expose visits as well as the Flagship WIT internship program where 4th year female students are provided internship opportunities in Safaricom ‘s technology division. Currently we have 33 girls under this program.
Partners in this program include
IV. WIT Networking Forum.
This is our main avenue for engagement with Women in technology across industry in Kenya. WIT networking forums are monthly cocktail power talk sessions organized with the aim of providing a platform for women in tech industry to advance their careers from entry level to the boardroom, by networking and learning from the experiences of the invited guests who are mostly successful women and men across tech industry. The events are also aimed at providing an opportunity for women in tech to build their social capital.