Girls ages 13-18 from Maina Wanjigi Secondary School, Kariobangi North Girls and Embakasi Girls High School were invited to participate in Girls Power Tech mentoring opportunities with Cisco employees, allowing girls to make informed career choices about working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
This was in line with the ‘Girls Power Tech’ mentoring sessions in Kenya this week, as part of a global mentoring initiative to support and complement the United Nations’ Girls in ICT Day’ on the 23rd April 2015, an annual day of activities organized by the International Telecommunications Union aimed at improving the understanding of careers in ICT among girls.
Cisco has supported Girls in ICT for the last 4years since its inception in 2011 and the girls also experienced Cisco technologies first hand and met with other Girls participating in ICT Day across the region via Cisco TelePresence.
The day’s agenda included a site tour to the local office, group or individual mentoring, an immersive telepresence experience, a learning session regarding the Internet of Everything and the IoT Young Women’s Innovation Challenge.
Globally and Kenya, there is a massive shortfall projected in the numbers of workers trained for careers in ICT. Cisco’s ‘Girls Power Tech’ is focused on encouraging girls and young women in more than 50 countries, and 80 Cisco offices, to discover opportunities opened by careers in ICT. Often students are discouraged from pursuing careers simply because they either do not know anyone who works in these fields or they do not understand what people in these fields do. That’s why Cisco’s hands-on mentoring is so important. Mentoring also provides meaningful experiences for employees, with employee volunteers reporting higher level of engagement, loyalty, and longevity.
Hital Muraj Cisco Manager, Corporate Affairs, East & Central Southern Africa, commented, “The technology industry in Kenya has never been more dynamic or more exciting. Now, more than ever, we need to be doing all we can to build the diverse talent pipeline that will lead our industry into the future. Cisco’s Girls Power Tech allows young women to explore the incredible opportunities available to them in the technology sector and helps to build the skills and the mindset needed to be our leaders of tomorrow.”
Sabrina Dar, Cisco GM, EA said, “It’s important for Cisco to help build the diverse talent pipeline that can capture the amazing opportunities of the 21st Century’s Internet of Everything economy. We are proud to sponsor Girls Power Tech as part of our overall global mentoring efforts and thank our Cisco employee volunteers for inspiring the next generation of ICT talent in Kenya!”