Programme to train 1 000 African women in tech launches

Microsoft’s Microsoft 4Afrika initiative has partnered with Wentors, a women’s mentorship organisation to launch a programme to train and provide mentorship to 1 000 women in the technology industry. 

1 000 women in tech will be provided with on-hand mentorship and training from industry experts.

The programme hopes to address the 30 %  gap in global female researches along with the stark and prevalent gender imbalance in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) fields of research in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to various studies, women in the STEM field are paid significantly less for their research and do not progress at the same rate that men do in their respective fields. 

The programme

Wentors, a platform that is made up of a global community of women in technology mentoring and training aims to provide assistance and mentorship to young women in the tech space and final year students who wish to enter the industry.

The global community was founded by EduAbasi Chukwunweike, a graduate in software engineering with her Masters’s degree in Informatics and a Microsoft f4Afrika employee. 

Chukwunweike, a solutions specialist for the Microsoft 4Afrika team was inspired to launch the initiative due to the lacking presence of women in the tech space. 

“We believe the people best situated to nurture these dreams are the women currently in technology and hence we are redefining the mentorship roadmap by building a global community of women in technology who nurture each other,” comments Chukwunweike.

Wentors provides Cohort programmes over eight to 12 week periods.

During these programmes, participants are provided with an hour-long weekly session with an experienced mentor, soft skills training, and engage in webinars focusing on a range of topics from personal branding to networking and more. 

These frequently virtually hosted cohort programmes aim to provide participants with the skills to sustain and grow a career in the tech ecosystem.

Using advanced AI technology mentors are paired with specific mentees using an in-house developed algorithm. The platform provides mentors with a mentoring framework, reverts continuous feedback to mentees, and progression measurement indicators for both parties.

Training and mentorship of 1 000 women in tech

Wentors has partnered with various communities and tech companies to execute its goal of training 1 000 women in the tech industry. The programme aims to facilitate growth that enables women to make up 50% of the positions across the IT industry. 

“Meeting this goal is vitally important, as this brings us closer to increasing the numbers of women represented in the tech industry.

It’s evident by the significant investments into skills development and educational programmes that Microsoft believes in upskilling our youth to have the right skills to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is a social, moral, and economic necessity to ensure young girls and women in Africa are given the skills to master technology and increase the number of future-ready professionals,” concludes Chukwunweike. 

Read more: Beyond representation: how private equity can address gender inequality
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Featured image: Christina @ via Unsplash



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