Tag Archive for Washington Fellowship

Why I do it ?

Ethel Cofie WOmen in TechThe last 2 days have being spent in an exhausting workshop on centered leadership i.e. leading from an authentic source, leading from who you are.

This 2-day journey has compelled me to share my story, to speak to people on my motivations and my purpose for the things I do … so today I want to tell you why I run the women in tech networking series in Ghana and why I am running the 1st Pan African women in tech virtual meet up and why I think its important.

 

 

I grew up understanding women aspired to have male children because a male child carried on the family name. My parent have 2 girls and I remember my cousin commenting when we were playing outside (we were 12 years) how lucky it was that the other uncles had boys or the family name would die with us girls.!!!!

I heard women who had only girls being called barren, as if girls were not children.

I love my parents, never once did I feel like I was not capable because of my gender, never once did I feel like I was less than.

I often helped Dad fix the sockets at home; we talked about me becoming an engineer. At home I never felt my gender was a limit, outside my home well that was another story all together.

I discovered my love for computers at age 18 and I went on to study computer science degree and an MSc. in distributed system.

In university and in my jobs after that anytime I looked around and I was the only woman or one of the few women   in the room who are in tech. As software developer I wore jeans and slacks to work at my first job even though I prefer tailored trousers and shirts because I wanted to fit in, I didn’t  want to be seen as a bimbo.

The first time I saw a woman working in IT wearing high heels, I run after her. I remember that day so well, her name was Laura Paterson, and she rocked those high heels and was great at her job. I never told her this but watching her gave me permission to be a female techy I didn’t know I could do both. (I recognize this is hard to understand if you have not lived it)

Ethel CofieIt is important to me to share my story with women who are industry or aspiring to join about giving yourself permission to be kick ass at your job and to be a woman.

It is important I share my struggle of being one of the boys but getting told repeatedly I was too aggressive because the same personality traits of type A personalities mostly accepted of men was/is not accepted of women and the how I overcome this daily.

So Women in Tech Ghana and Africa for me is personal, it is about providing the platform so women of African decent can share their experiences and make connections.

It’s about providing a place where we could tell those after us our journey and we can learn from those before us. I want to help shape a group of women who are fearless and unapologetic for whom they are and provide them the tools to be kick ass in the tech industry

I have partnered with an awesome group of women to make Women in tech Africa happen.

So this is why I do it …

I recognize this story is not for everyone, I am looking for people who understand what it means. Join me bring this vision to life …

If you have not already registered for the women in tech Africa event on the 2nd of August , I implore you please join us. 

P.s It is always amusing for me when a (man or woman) looks disappointed in me because *shock* I tell them I am feminist.