Zimbabwe’s techno-preneurship institution, the Harare Institute of Technology is set to host the Women in Technology (WIT) Day on the 8th of March to mark the International Women’s Day. The event is focused on celebrating and recognizing innovations made by women and girls in engineering & technology.
The event, running under the theme “Women in Technology: Working towards Progress for All,” is aimed at harnessing strategies, expertise and resources to promote increased participation and retention of the girl child in the field of technology development, especially as agents of economic growth.
It is also envisioned that the event will also contribute to the investment in education by encouraging young women to venture into Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering and Mathematics (STIEM), and increase retention rate of urban and rural girls in these fields.
Event coordinator Ms. Lodrina Masiyazi, a lecturer in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department, says there has been an increase in the number of women and girls participating in Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering and Mathematics education but there is still ground to be covered in terms participation and retention of women in technology based work, projects and businesses.
“With 8 March proclaimed as International Women’s Day, the Harare Institute of Technology sees this day as an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by women in technology. We are advocating increased participation and retention of women and girls in technology based areas, whilst we are also celebrating achievements of women and men in developing technological innovations and paving the road for generations to follow,” she said.
Masiyazi added that the overall intention is to have the Women in Technology Day as an annual event. “The hosting of the event will be rotated amongst provinces as an endeavor to reach both rural and urban young women in Zimbabwe. The event seeks to advocate women and girls’ participation and contribution to STIEM developments through curricula, research, projects, businesses and innovation initiatives,” she added
The main objective of the Women in Technology (WIT) Day is to increase engagement and actions of all stakeholders for women empowerment, development and retention in Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering and Mathematics as well as enhancing the capacity and drive of women and girls to be key change agents and contributors to innovations and initiatives in technology based fields and business ventures.
The event is targeting mainly students in High Schools and Universities in the fields of STIEM, teachers, lecturers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians, technologists from both academia and industry. Participants will also receive mentorship in the areas of Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as career guidance in technology fields.
They will also gain ideas to implement towards their aspirations, career and life as technocrats. “This event will facilitate the development of activities that promote women & girls in Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering and Mathematics, provide a platform to learn strategies that will have an impact on growth and innovation in technology professions. This is an event to celebrate and recognize progress and innovations made by women and girls in engineering and technology,” said Ms. Masiyazi.