Safaricom Women in Technology (WIT) is an organization of passionate women from Safaricom technology driven divisions dedicated to inspiring women from different backgrounds to advance their careers from classroom to boardroom. These efforts are geared towards creating an opportunity to tap into the unused talent and innovative ideas sitting on the bench with our girls, whilst dynamic trends continue to emerge in the Technology space.
The program is organized into 6 streams:
- KidzGoTech – It strategically engages children in science based experiments targets children from the ages of 5-13yrs to embrace technology and use it to solve everyday problems. These young children engage in science/technology based experiments that use interactive kits to simulate real world applications. As a bonus they get to carry these kits home. Through this engagement the children are introduced to the use easily and locally available tools that simulate real world objects and robots that move, light up and make sounds. The aim is to skew the attitude of girls towards science and technology and make them become creators of and not merely consumers of technology from an early age. To date there have been over 17 successful Sessions with over 700 kids attendance and 32 Experiments done. Over 100 children from disadvantaged backgrounds like SOS Children’s Home in Buruburu were sponsored. The December 2016 sessions are currently ongoing and exposing amazing talent.
- 47/47 Girls High School outreach – This initiative is a See-n- Believe program. It strategy is one of Imagine-and- Create so primary school girls in all 47 counties in the country can make career choices towards Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The program entails lessons on telco 101, understanding basic calls and equipment, visits to Safaricom data centers, career talks and mentoring sessions. The aim is to demystify technology and expose girls to the real tech-world so they consider technology career options. So far all 45 counties have been reached. Follow ups show more girls taking Physics in the national exams. Many testimonials show positive impact of these efforts on academic performance.
- Technovation Challenge: This initiative focuses on development of mobile apps that help to solve local community problems. High school girls are mentored on basics of coding, user-interface design, conducting market research, writing business plans, and pitching for funding for the apps. In 2016 for the first time, 8 out of the 256 teams that participated qualified for semi finals of the international challenge. Out of these, 1 team, Snipers from Precious Blood High School developed a transport app, M-Safiri that they defended at Silicon Valley, California. They emerged 2nd best. 60 Campus students who coached were also beneficiaries of the challenge. • Campus Outreach: This initiative targets to inspire and retain the girls studying Technology (Engineering and ICT) in campus through coaching and mentorship. The WIT champions visit campuses to encourage students to stay active, informed, and networked; ready for roles as professionals and leaders in the sector. The aim is to offer support for female engineering students academically, socially, professionally (CV writing, interview etiquette, online branding). At these sessions, the students learn about Value Added Services, Customer Billing System, MPESA rooms, Power, Transmission and Data Centres which they actually visit. 15 Universities all over Kenya have been covered to date. In 2016 WIT Campus Outreach united with Technology Strategy team for a conference at the University of Nairobi. This event was greatly supported by male engineers and was instrumental in honing innovation and aligning students to dynamic trends. Together with Technology Security a visit to Moi University in November 2016 unveiled numerous invention ideas, web design and online opportunities.
- WIT Academy: This is an internship program that aims to release highly trained ladies engineers. The agenda is to equip them with the necessary skills to make them market ready. The interns actually sit and work with the engineers thereby learning a lot from them. It runs on a quarterly calendar and there have been 9 sessions each with 40 interns. Just before they graduate a career fair that matches their skills to potential hirers is organized. Partners in technology space such as Nokia, Huawei, Ericsson, Oracle grace these events that always has a positive outcome careerwise. Over 20 have converted to Safaricom staff and over 100 to other partners. The number is increasing steadily and current intake targets 58 interns including the boy child.
- WIT Forum Held monthly WIT networking forum aims to motivate professional women pursuing technology careers and grow them all the way to the boardroom. Guest Speakers (Women and Men) with a wealth of experience in leadership give career talks. It provides a platform for the working woman to Network, Build Relations and Engage positively with role models. Over 40 sessions down the lane, a lot of wisdom has been passed on financial management, technology and business, real estate, decision making and pursuing opportunities among many other topics. This forum has been graced by speakers from various sectors such as Cherie Blaire, Amb. Dr. Monica Juma , Zebib Kavuma and Tumi Chamayou.