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Can digital technology education improve gender equality in ICT careers in Kenya?

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About a decade ago, multi-million dollar information and communication technology (ICT) companies like Lyft, Pinterest, Slack, and Uber didn’t exist. Today, certain aspects within the industry have not kept up with the same rapid evolutionary process as the rest of the industry.Among them, gender equality and inequality are the main ones.

As a member of the 11th cohort of the Echidna Global Scholars Program at Brookings University, I am uncovering the root causes of the exclusion of girls and young women from digital technology education at all levels (lower, upper, middle school, etc.) I’m trying high school, and higher education.

Experience working in the ICT industry as a lecturer and trainer, Having worked as a practicing physician for nearly 20 years, I can easily attest to this fact. there was only one person. Of all the computer science students I currently teach in college, women make up less than 9% of her. A quick look at the diplomas of various Kenyan universities shows that the percentage of women graduating with an ICT-related degree is very low, and that percentage drops further as more universities are included in the sample. I understand this. This phenomenon, called the “leaky pipeline”, has led to women and girls not advancing in their ICT-related studies and underestimating their ICT careers. Despite the fact that many employees are self-taught, given that most employers only hire digital technology professionals with a college degree, the low graduation rate is an indication that digital technology careers leading to a low number of women eligible for

ICT in Kenya

Gender imbalance in ICT in Kenya is part of the worldwide problem. 2021 World Economic Forum reportFor example, it has been observed that only about 26% of artificial intelligence (AI) professionals worldwide are women, and by 2021 UNESCO report Noted that there is a large gender imbalance globally in terms of female representation in STEM fieldsEven more so in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gender disparities in ICT-related careers in Kenya can easily negatively impact most workplace gender equality and economic empowerment efforts.a Reported by McKinsey & Company Emerging economies, including Kenya, show that women make up about 40% of administrative support workers. Rapid advances in digital technology mean that the first casualties of job automation are in managerial, clerical, and low-skilled positions. Given the already global shortage of women in digital technology workplaces, it is clear that the transition to the digital economy will lead to increased unemployment among women in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kenyan government has launched a number of initiatives to attract more boys and girls to ICT-related courses. Most notably, a recent Google-sponsored initiative piloted coding projects in several elementary schools. However, such initiatives fail to consider existing gender disparities and, most importantly, how to mitigate these disparities.

as a member of 11th As a cohort of Brookings’ Echidna Global Scholars Program, we seek to uncover the root causes of the exclusion of girls and young women from digital technology education at all levels.That is, pre-primary, post-primary, middle school, high school, and tertiary education. This study not only examines the mechanisms that exclude girls at these levels, but also analyzes the impact of early events on young girls’ future career choices regarding ICT. That is, it examines the impact of various deficiencies during the schooling process, such as social, economic and infrastructural inequalities, or something as simple as lack of role models. The findings of this study will help design an education policy framework aimed at bridging the gender gap in digital technology careers in Kenya.