The Importance of Mentorship for Women in STEM
Science and gender equality are critical to attaining the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals. Society has done a lot to help motivate and inspire women and girls to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) fields. Nevertheless, according to the UN, women continue to be alienated from engaging fully in these science-related fields. For instance, students and female employees are under-represented in STEM-related areas, with only a portion of female students choosing these fields in higher education. Moreover, the ingrained and deep-rooted gender bias and stereotypes drive women and girls away from pursuing careers in these technical fields.
Among the many approaches used, mentorship has been vital in encouraging women to pursue STEM-related careers. Mentorship can offer a collaborative learning platform for Women in these fields. Historically, mentorship is an engagement between a more and less experienced individual based on trust, reciprocity, intentionality, responsiveness, constant communication, and shared responsibility. Mentors can play a significant part in assisting upcoming or recent graduates to jump-start their careers. It profits the younger inexperienced generation and serves as an exceptionally enriching experience for accomplished professionals. Serving as a mentor can help STEM practitioners improve their leadership capacity, sharpen their communication skills, and engage more in community work.
Despite its essential role in the academic and scholarly community, mentorship has received limited focus, attention, and recognition compared to other aspects of the development process, for example, teaching and research.
For more, join a panel of experts and scholars on the 26th May 2021 at 4 PM NRB/9 AM NY to establish a dialogue on the importance of mentorship for women in STEM careers.
Ida Nganga is the Global President, Startup Innovation at the Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade; the Regional Head, UNESCO Emerging Technologies for Development based in Bordeaux, France; and on the Boards of the International Centre for Enterprise Development (ICED Digitizing Trade Taskforce) and the Globe Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
She is also the founder of an award-winning Regional Consortium of Experts for Development who use technology and engineering as an enabler for achieving the SDGs. She is committed to putting a spotlight on startup development, technology transfer, gender inclusion, stakeholder engagement & intercontinental collaboration. She is on the advisory committees for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Digital Innovation Framework, Afrinic’s Government Cluster, ICANN’s Africa Strategy 2020, Communications Authority’s Online Safety, and the Global Peace Foundation’s Leap Innovation HUBS. She also Co-Chairs the Internet for Development Global Community and its Internet for Education Lead.
She is a Tech for Good global partner on online safety & security, computer science education, and cloud solutions, as well as an Ambassador for Africa Code Week by SAP and UNESCO. She is also a certified leadership and management trainer by Dale Carnegie International, which uses the behavioral science approach, and a much sought-after global speaker known for her oratory prowess.
Dr. Aaron Wallen is currently the academic director of non-degree programs and a senior lecturer in Human Capital Management at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. As a researcher, he focuses on gender stereotypes, ageism, negotiation, and quantitative methods. Additionally, he has been published in the major organizational and social psychological journals. In addition to his work at Columbia University, he has taught courses in New York University's Industrial and Organizational Psychology Masters Program. Further, he has done consulting work for human resources (HR) and human capital management (HCM) at top organizations like Goldman Sachs, KKR, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and ReturnPath.
Edna Karijio is a Public Policy specialist and a Program Manager at eMobilis, an award-winning Technology and Digital Training Institution/hub in Nairobi, Kenya.
She is also a leading advocate of "Digital Skills/ Inclusion and Meaningful Youth Engagement," with a career spanning majorly in the business industry and technology industry.
She currently serves as a Board of Trustees Member for the Internet Society of Kenya.
Ms. Karijo is also an Alumna of the Young Africa Leadership Initiative (YALI) and an award-winning Mentor with the Presidential DigiTalent Program (PDTP).
Lavina Ramkissoon is the Chairperson/Founder, Technology Foundation & rai | Women in STEM Global Mentor. She is considered a thought leader in pioneering technology, passionate about humanity, technology, economics, and dance. Besides her 20 years of experience in technology, she holds added knowledge in psychology and artificial intelligence. She is an AIEthics mentor and driver of Africa’s artificial intelligence missions to create meaningful, innovative solutions to help shape the continent.
She plays in sunny fields across Africa’s landscape. Besides being a podcast guest, her specialization is in emerging technology spaces, including Agritech, Fintech, Healthtech, Lawtech, and Retailtech.
Head of Digital Communication Chair UNESCO Emerging Technologies for Development, University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, France.
Anouchka Albano has a degree in linguistics. She worked for five years as an administrative assistant in Gabon. She is currently a third-year student at the University Bordeaux Montaigne studying Applied Foreign Languages (English and Italian); her specialty is in international business communication.