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Go AkiraChix! Empowering Women in Technology

By Wayan Vota on May 26, 2010

The information technology field is very male dominated. In fact, it can often feel like an all-boys club, where women are not always welcome. This disappoints me greatly for two main reasons:

Women should be half the group
  1. On a general level, as women are half the users, and therefore should be part of the developers and designers of technology tools.
  2. On a personal level, as the father of a daughter, I want her to see technology as a career path, equal to any other

So I am filled with mixed emotions when I see pictures like this one, where women are greatly under-represented in technology groups. I am glad that there are actually women in the photo, but I wish there were more than just two.

That’s why I am so excited to hear about AkiraChix – a community of women using technology as a platform to empower each other in Kenya:

They are having their first meeting this Saturday – if you’re a woman in the ICT field, do your best to attend. And if you can’t, here’s an amazing book to read: African Women and ICTs explores the ways in which women in Africa utilize ICTs to facilitate their empowerment.

How to get more women in ICT

One question that is sure to come up is how to get more women interested and involved with information and communication technologies, as a profession. Recently, I asked that very same question to leading women in Silicon Valley. Their unanimous answer? Parents, mentors, and positive reinforcement from society matter most for girls to enjoy ICT.

In fact, here is Kristin Peterson, CEO of Inveneo, talking about her role models, mentors, and professional development that led her to be a successful woman in ICT:

So congrats to AkiraChix for setting an example for other women to follow – may your community grow and succeed so daughters everywhere (like iPad addicted ones I know) can grow up to be ICT leaders.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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One Comment to “Go AkiraChix! Empowering Women in Technology”

  1. kachwanya says:

    It is great that they are doing this. I have met Linet Kwamboka in several Tech functions and i liked her passion for IT. By all means IT should not be all-boys club. I am very happy that they have started Akirachix initiative and sometime you just need one or two people to pioneer something and then floodgates open.