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Ethel saw opportunities in the tech space back home and decided to come take them. Little did she know the surprise that awaited her! What has actually brought Ethel to the limelight is her attempts to empower and captivate women to reach commanding heights of Africa’s tech space with her Women in Tech Programme. “Women in Tech is a programme that pools together women in the tech space all around Africa to share resources in improving each other and encouraging more into the space. We are now in Nigeria, Kenya and the UK. We are looking to move into many more countries. Men meet on the golf course to play golf and in the space of that two or three hours, deals worth several hundreds of thousands are made. I believe women in tech need a similar thing, where they can form bonds and help catapult each other to the next stage,” she says.

An African Tech Icon In Ghana, Women in Tech Africa, which is an informal networking group, focuses on enhancing women’s careers by sharing experiences and lessons learned. All these make her a tech icon, not just in Ghana, but on the continent as a whole. Recently the women had an elite invitation from Ethel to a “Kelewele” (a Ghanaian delicacy made from fried riped plantain) and wine networking session. It was the talk of the business community for weeks. Why the need to fight a course for more women representation in tech? What exactly is keeping women from tech? According to Ethel: “It the same thing about competence. Some people don’t believe that women can be competent software engineers or IT experts. It’s simply a man’s world.” Hence the strategy of Women in Tech is to showcase successful IT women to a younger generation of girls in order to motivate them. “We want to give young girls an option. That apart from their liberal arts, they cans also excel in IT, they can build apps too,” Ethel notes. She adds that she expects to make a more meaningful impact in the sector in Africa. “We are looking to make a more meaningful impact. We are looking to increase the revenue streams of many more businesses, help them cut costs and improve

operations. We will do more customised software for clients. For Women in Tech Africa, we are looking to get into more countries on the African continent and create a much bigger and resourceful platform for women in tech to connect and leverage on opportunities to grow,” she points out.

Personal Aspirations for Women in Tech When Ethel first started Women in Tech Africa, and when she reflected on her own personal journey in the tech sector, she says that one of the first things she did was to conform in the business tech, male dominated environment in which she was working. “When everyone in the male oriented office wore jeans and hoodies, I quickly realised that if I was to get any kind of respect I felt I needed to be like them. Looking back when I tell people about this approach, I am not sure in retrospect it was the right thing to do, but I did it at the time because I wanted to fit in and be taken seriously by my colleagues,” she explains. So, Women in Tech Africa it was started out of her very personal need to start a ‘girls club’, as an antidote to what had been a ‘boys club’ in the tech sector for so long. She had learned successfully how to integrate and become part of the ‘boys club’ in the tech sector, “but I wondered if we could create a women equivalent ‘club’ in the sector, where women could be part of something groundbreaking, where they could be themselves, not to have to conform, and still be great at their jobs.” There are so many women in tech groups now across Africa, with women teaching girls how to code or on the other side of the spectrum working with women who are in the industry, and everything in between. “I think Women in Tech Ghana as an organisation has now matured enough and I can take a step back from it because everyone involved knows what they are doing, the group is working well. For me, Women in Tech Africa is about bringing together all these groups of women in the industry under a loose umbrella whereby we can look at issues not simply from a country level, but instead from a continent wide perspective. I would like to see more women involved as part of Women in Tech Africa, but importantly, I would also like to see women work better with one another. One often hears the conversation in the industry that women don’t necessarily work well together. So for me, one of the challenges is to see women working better with one another, meaning that we understand the dynamics around us that make us compete with one another which can bring tension,” says Ethel.

They had a simple value proposition: “To provide customised software for companies and businesses that will increase profitability. Here we either minimise cost or maximise revenue, whichever way, our software are tailored to improving the profitability of our clients.”

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AFRICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2017/2018

Profile for CEO Global

MIW Regional Digital Magazine 2017  

Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government – this annual publication showcases Africa’s most influential women across the co...

MIW Regional Digital Magazine 2017  

Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government – this annual publication showcases Africa’s most influential women across the co...

Profile for ceoglobal
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