The digital economy opens opportunities for new and lucrative careers in Kenya and across the globe, while at the same time eliminating a sizable number of administrative, clerical, and non-skilled jobs—with women the most affected by these changes. Most young women are missing out on technology-related career opportunities, which is even more worrying when coupled with the decline in job growth in fields traditionally dominated by women.
Yet the gender gap in the information and communications technology (ICT) workforce begins much earlier in women’s lives, as very few girls enroll in digital technology-related courses at the tertiary level of education. In Kenya, the rate of women graduating university with an ICT degree is disproportionately low, comprising less than 30 percent of ICT graduates, thus resulting in the underrepresentation of women in digital technology careers. As a 2022 Echidna Global Scholar, I decided to conduct a study on how Kenya can create a holistic education policy response that would help mitigate the cumulative disadvantages that exclude girls and young women from digital technology-related courses across their educational trajectories.
My investigation sought to identify why girls and young women were not taking ICT courses from the lowest to the highest level of education. Some of my findings are highlighted below:
I recently shared more on my research at the “Bridging the gender divide in digital technology careers in Kenya” workshop, held on December 6 as part of the research and policy symposium on gender equality in and through education on “De/reconstructing education as a space for transformative belonging and agency.”
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