8 Mar 2019
3 Min Read
Balance For Better
By Nekesa Were
8 Mar 2019
3 Min Read
By Nekesa Were
Happy International Women’s Day from the iHub!
We love to celebrate women at the iHub and over the years we’ve done it in different ways including pledging for gender parity, celebrating the fabulous women who work out of the iHub space and running business sessions specifically for women.
We have taken measures to make the iHub a pleasant and practical space for women to work by including a nursing room in our space, ensuring female members have a platform to effect change at the iHub and working to ensure gender parity on our team, in our community, and in events and programs that we run. The iHub team is currently 62.5% female, our membership is at 30% female and our programs attract an average of 25% women participation.
The International Women’s Day campaign theme for 2019 is Balance for Better. It is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world and challenges all of us to think of ways we will work to make a difference. At the iHub we actively work to increase the number of women in our community and in our programs. This year we are taking this even further and celebrating women by announcing a new program we are developing with Safaricom to grow the number of socially and economically empowered women entrepreneurs who run women-owned/women-led sustainable businesses working in the ICT sector.
Research is constantly finding that diversity in the workspace translates to more successful businesses1. Studies have also shown that women inject 90% of their earnings into their families and communities but are less likely to be connected to the internet or to use it for work. Naturally then, given our stats, we want to ensure that we have more women in the workspace and in business and more women using technology in their businesses.
The Women in Business program will support women-owned and women lead businesses by providing forums, training and mentoring to address challenges affecting the growth of women’s businesses.
Using a specially developed, robust, curriculum we want to equip women with the technical skills and entrepreneurship skills necessary to run sustainable businesses. You can look forward to lots of talks and workshops here facilitated by seasoned business owners and business coaches. It will also include a technical skills track.
Leveraging the ever-growing local network of women in tech we will grow the pipeline of the next women-owned and women-led businesses by supporting women in tech to build businesses around their products. We also want to contribute to a pipeline of the next female CTOs.
The iHub boasts a rich network of mentors pulled from members of Eastern Africa’s business and tech ecosystems. We will recruit to grow this network to increase like-minded people and organisations who share our passion to grow women-owned and women-led businesses.
Research, evidence, and learning are crucial elements for the iHub and evidence generated will be disseminated beyond this program. Learnings will allow us to constantly deliver an effective program and we hope that through them we can contribute to transformative impact in other organisations.
Together with Safaricom we are bringing together a great lineup of organisations that will help us pilot this program and we look forward to announcing them soon. We’d also love to sign on more. Please get in touch here to get involved.
We are looking for female business owners and innovators! If you’d like to be a part of this program when we roll it out in the next quarter, sign up here.
Enjoy women’s day celebrations wherever you are!