Women in Tech Urged to Pursue Leadership Roles

Prof. Robert Kinyua delivers the Vice Chancellor’s remarks

Women in technology-based careers have been encouraged to pursue leadership roles to enhance parity in the male-dominated profession.

The call was made during the commemoration of International Girls in ICT Day on Thursday, April 25, 2024, where women in tech were called to action with this year’s spotlight shining on leadership roles for women.

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi acknowledged the challenges women face in reaching top-level positions in technological related fields, affirming that JKUAT has taken proactive steps to address various disparities.

“One of the central pillars of JKUAT’s approach is mentorship. By connecting young girls and women with inspiring leaders in ICT from diverse sectors, the university aims to cultivate a generation of confident female leaders. Events like International Girls in ICT Day serve as precious opportunities to inspire, encourage and mentor girls, guiding them along the intricate pathways of an ICT career,” said Prof. Ngumi.

She said, through concerted efforts, JKUAT endeavours to foster a supportive environment where women can flourish, ensuring their voices are heard and their talents recognized.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, the Vice Chancellor noted that JKUAT is renowned for producing numerous female graduates in various ICT disciplines, each leaving an indelible mark in industry, academia, and government.

Director of School Computing and Information Technology, Dr. Agnes Mindilla, shared her personal journey from a little-known school in Bungoma County to earning a PhD from JKUAT.

Participants follow proceedings

Reflecting on her high school days, Dr. Mindilla recounted how a visit to JKUAT shaped her ambitions, particularly in pursuing engineering. She narrated how her mindset was transformed after the JKUAT tour, underscoring the importance of exposure and opportunity in shaping career paths.

Dr. Mindilla emphasized the significance of female solidarity, urging female students to support each other both personally and professionally. She stressed the importance of fostering a supportive community among women in tech, acknowledging the challenges they may face in male-dominated environments.

Dr. Michaelina Almaz Yohannis from the University of Nairobi, urged young women to take calculated risks and not to be afraid of challenges, emphasizing the necessity of perseverance, advising young women to be relentless even in the face of setbacks.

She also reminded aspiring female technologists that success is not always immediate but comes with a sense of fulfillment and achievement when earned through hard work.

Prof. Wafula Muliaro, of the Department of Computing and lead scientist African open Science Platform-East Africa, shared insights on leveraging data to identify opportunities and challenges in advancing open science practices across Africa.

The event attracted accomplished women in technology. Among the attendees were Donna Rege from Safaricom, Nanjala Misiko from Google, Assumpta Pius from WFP, Lilian Nyamboga from KPMG, and Dr. Agnes Kiragga from the African Population & Health Research Centre. They made key contributions to leading topics of discussion during the forum.

Participants in a commemmorative photo

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