A new initiative to get more Kenyan Girls into Science and Technology

General Electric  and Shining Hope for Communities in collaboration with Kids Comp Camp  in Kenya are working together to increase girls’ participation and uptake of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The initiative seeks to close the wide gap in terms of women’s participation in STEM related careers after UNESCO recently revealed that only 28% of women globally are currently working in science and technology related fields.

In Kenya, only 9% of Kenyan women are registered engineers. Today’s event dubbed She Can Code Challenge is part of GE’s Girls initiative designed to encourage girls to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math and STEM-based careers.

The coding challenge saw some 46 girls in Grades 6 and 7 at the SHOFCO School for girls undergo an engaging session of coding challenges facilitated by Kids Comp Camp and career guidance session with GE Women Network.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our experiences that can help shape careers for young girls who are the next generation of leaders

“Since 2014, Kids Comp Camp has interacted with slightly over 7,000 students in rural and slums areas, of which 54% were girls. Exposure, interest and support system remains the biggest barriers to young girls taking up courses and careers in STEM. We’re most pleased that GE and SHOFCO are on board to help overcome these barriers and reach out to more underserved girls,” said Caleb Ndaka, Program Lead at Kids Comp Camp.

The event aims at exposing the underserved students to opportunities in STEM for both employability and entrepreneurship. To sustain the initiative, the girls will also have other opportunities such as shadowing GE employees on the job and visiting GE facilities such as its Karen Healthcare training center and other customer sites.

Speaking on this initiative, Brenda Mbathi, GE Women’s Network Leader for East Africa said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our experiences that can help shape careers for young girls who are the next generation of leaders. At GE, we see diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of our productivity, innovation and competitive advantage. GE Girls STEM initiatives with SHOFCO are at the core of this.”

SHOFCO runs tuition-free leadership academies for Girls, located in Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi, where over 500 students are receiving a free high-quality education from pre-kindergarten through the 8th grade.

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