Emily Namugaanyi, a talented software engineer from Uganda works for giving young women a secure space to learn, innovate and work.
When a woman is asked what was your motivation to take on a career in technology, the answers you hear sound like this.
“I like to solve problems using machines.”
“Making a machine do what you want and break the monotony.”
“There is always something new to learn.”
However, many African women have not had the chance yet to find the beauty in a career in technology. Women Initiative Mozilla (WoMoz) was launched in Uganda in 2014 in Kampala by Mozilla, the free software community, to introduce more women to a technology career.
The initiative provides a safe environment for women to learn what technology is all about. The community allows women to put whatever they are good at on the table and then creatively use it to contribute to the technology industry. The environment provides women to experience the working environment with help from experienced colleagues. After recognizing that there are very few women in the technology industry, the initiative was started with a goal to increase the number of women in the technology industry.
Members of the community are given options to allow them to contribute as per their interest. These include: fixing errors, reporting errors, Application development, and evangelizing – spreading the word about technology, design – coming up with designs for t-shirts or stickers, and event organization.
Emily remembers “When I looked at the room full of women with a glint of excitement in their eyes, it gives me hope to know that this talent will be put to good use, that these women will get the mentorship that they need and more so, that women believe that they are an integral part of the technology space in Uganda.”
Indeed, it is important to work towards having more women in the technology space and providing them opportunities to work in a safe and inspiring environment.