Kenya: GE, SHOFCO Partners to Close the Wide Gap in STEM

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In pursuit of closing the wide gap in terms of women’s participation in STEM related careers, for growth and development of the African continent, General Electric has entered partnership with Shining Hope for Communities and Kids Comp Camp in Kenya to increase girls’ participation and uptake of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Recognizing the UNESCO report revealed recently which states that only 28% of women globally are currently working in science and technology related fields, the report is a pointer that more efforts are required.

According to Caleb Ndaka, Program Lead at Kids Comp Camp, he explained that limited access to internet remains a big limitation to young girls taking up courses and careers in STEM.

“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.”

Therefore, the event has been tied towards exposing these unprivileged young girls to the various 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.”

About SHOFCO

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.

About GE Girls

GE Girls, part of GE’s East Africa Women’s Network, comes at the back of the company’s ‘Balancing the Equation’ commitment that seeks to increase the number of women in engineering, digital, manufacturing and product management roles by 2020. GE believes it is necessary to inject urgency into addressing ongoing gender imbalance in technical fields and fully transform into a digital industrial company.