The Managing Director of Airtel Ghana and reigning Telecom CEO of the Year, Lucy Quist, joined leading African women in technology at the African Summit on Women and Girls in Technology to discuss and share solutions that will foster policy directions on broadband internet access, women empowerment, and sustainable development.
The conference, organized by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, focused on practical solutions and policies that will further the interest of African women and girls.
Sharing her thoughts on bridging the gender gap in the Technology industry, Lucy Quist, a passionate advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) encouraged participants to be bold and active participants in the industry. She said “Instead of waiting to be given the opportunity to be relevant, women need to assert and claim their place in the Tech industry by equipping themselves with knowledge about the industry, being exceptionally great at what they do and even greater when it comes to soft skills such as communications and human relations”.
Lucy Quist also touched on society’s role in supporting more women in Tech. She said “For a long time, we (society) have given the tech industry an image women do not wish to be part of. Technology has been given a masculine face and attitude. First everyone expects males to be dominant in this field, then when a woman turns up, she is still expected to be masculine.
But this is changing, although not as fast as we want it to be. We need to support, empower and encourage more women and girls into the field. I have seen and met with some of the amazing young women in Tech and I am very confident the great work they are doing will inspire even more young women and girls into the field. When I see young people like you who are passionate about making a difference, about going the extra mile, I am confident that this continent of ours will be a major force, within the Technology industry in the future”.
The participants at the event, who came from different parts of the continent, were mostly women who were leading technology initiatives or working in tech companies.
Lucy Quist also interacted and mentored some of the participants who shared their experiences and challenges working in the industry.
Lucy Quist has been recognized as one of Ghana’s leading business executives and is also a trail blazer in the technology industry. She is a STEM ambassador who is championing the Evolve with STEM initiative, a CSR project by Airtel Ghana, to inspire belief and transform mindsets of young people towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through this initiative, more than 2,000 school children have been impacted across 4 regions in the country.
The African Summit on Women and Girls in Technology provides a platform for participants to gain a clear understanding of key technology policy issues that affect African women’s empowerment and rights. In addition, the platform provides specific action steps to shape the policy, practice, and investments in the technology industry on the continent.
The event organisers, Alliance for Affordable Internet, is a coalition of private sector, public sector, and civil society organisations who have come together to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries.