By Agnes Limo
Head Home Solutions
Safaricom WIT and WIB Champion.
Safaricom Women in Technology meets Women in Business
“When we come together, great things happen”
In the last five years, Safaricom’s drive to entrench gender equality has gained momentum in realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)
The Women in Technology program engages the whole pipeline from young kids, high school pupils, university students, employed, self-employed and unemployed youth in every county in Kenya. The impact has been felt in the industry. In Safaricom alone we have seen a 60% growth in the number of women in STEM in the last five years.
The Women in Business movement has sought to increase the number of women-owned companies doing business with Safaricom, in just under two years since its launch the number of prequalified women owned companies have tripled.
This month, for the first time, Women in Technology (WIT) and Women In Business (WIB) met, to discuss ways to grow technology business, from nascent stages and sustaining the momentum. The theme was a call to action: Be Unlimited: Be Unbound: Be WITy
The meeting was part of the WIT Guest Speaker Series; where we invite various Leaders in Technology, other cooperates and the public sector to share their experiences, challenges and opportunities.
In the modern age, people thrive within an information environment, and this kind of environment is exactly what WIB and WIT collaboration creates. As we move to various schools, colleges and universities we interact with young women and men, who are looking for opportunities to grow themselves both personally and professionally.
Why is it important?
Often confused with canvassing and selling, networking is creating and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships over time. This is beneficial to individual professional growth and business development. The forum provided a perfect networking opportunity, which is likely to be carried on to the future.
Mentorship and coaching is important for our industry to thrive. When we collaborate, the young women get an opportunity to identify mentors and for the seasoned business women, a chance to share their perspectives, that can inform future decisions.
The integrated sessions can also boost confidence with the young women in school wondering which careers to pursue, while the businesses can get ready workforce that they can tap into in future.
We become experienced Tour Guides in real life journeys for the young people.
Giving back to society
Having a WIB and WIT meeting in the same venue provides an opportunity for both groups of women to integrate their shared commitments such as social responsibility. Participating in shaping future generations perpetuates our shared values and will teach the young women about paying it forward.
Keeping a solid center
“When we come together, great things happen”, this is not only a slogan, but a belief system within Safaricom. Most initiatives are expected to take time, and by coming together, we can form a solid foundation.
For the center to hold, it is important to keep the fire burning, keep the interest bubbling, the desire, motivation and conviction to keep finding innovative ways to open and hold down more doors for women, now and in the future.