Last Friday evening, women in the tech and business world met up at Hive Colab to share and network and this time, the ratio of women to men was equal. Barbara Birungi, Director of Hive Colab, Founder of Women In Technology Uganda and curator of the event welcomed everyone and stressed the need for such meet ups to be held often so as to encourage and inspire as they share stories and learn more about the field.
Barbara appreciated the presence of the gentlemen and said they were part of the solution to the technological gender gap. The conversation was soon made interactive and solutions to this gender gaps were offered. Here are some:
-Women need other women to encourage them so they were encouraged to find mentors.
-Students were encouraged to take up personal growth, self-taught practical projects to prepare them for the field.
-Women were encouraged to always speak with confidence especially about their skill and that even if they weren’t really confident, the confidence would catch on with time and practice.
-Free time: use your free time to grow your skill and level up as opposed to just passing time watching telenovelas.
-Social media: it was noted that many young women use social media platforms to post pictures and lifestyles which same platforms can be used as a self-marketing tool. Young women were therefore implored to for example: post pictures of their work to their social media platforms, look out for users in similar fields and engage with them so as to promote themselves. The importance of having a professional LinkedIn account was also stressed.
-Women were encouraged to always carry their business cards to the invents they attend and endeavor to give them out to attendees. Women in tech and startups should also look out for events where they might learn a thing or two about their fields, but also as a networking strategy.
-Start ups at Hive Colab expressed the willingness to support,mentor any young women in tech that are ready to grow.
Many lessons to pick from all these solutions, a number of people including WITU and the startups at Hive Colab ready to render their support. It is now up to every interested young woman to take up the initiative. Be inspired. Take Initiative!