On March 10, alumni from the 2014 TechWomen exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State welcomed 80 women and girls interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in a workshop as part of activities to commemorate Women’s History Month 2015. During this symposium, participants shared their experiences in the United States as well as their current projects to empower Cameroonian women and girls including, teachers, women working in tech fields in the private sector, and students from four technical schools in Yaounde: St Benedict’s Bilingual College, Lycee Technique de Nkolbisson, Cetic de Ngoa Ekelle, and Tassah Comprehensive secondary school.
Welcoming participants, Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz lauded the 2014 TechWomen for their commitment to empower their fellow Cameroonian women, and encouraged students become the next generation of change makers in the STEM fields. “The Tech Women program underscores the United States’ commitment to promote women’s entrepreneurship and to partner with young leaders like you. This is your opportunity to learn, receive mentorship, mentor others, gain new ideas, and learn new lessons that will enable you to become leaders and role models to others. As President Obama has said, no nation which seeks to advance – including the U.S. – can do so without the immense talents and contributions of women. That is why we commemorate Women’s History Month. We are honored that you have accepted the opportunity to participate in this symposium today where you will not only learn from our TechWomen alumni, but also expand your network of contacts with your fellow participants in today’s program,” Shultz said.
The 2014 TechWomen alumni, Mekuate Tayou Christelle Carine, Sophie Ngassa, Germaine Erocknfor, Danedjo Fouba Dorothee, and Kapseu Marthe-Beatrice, then shared lessons learned during their five-week exchange program where they engaged in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley; participated in professional development workshops and networking events; and traveled to Washington, D.C. for targeted meetings and special events. Discussions during the symposium ranged from topics that included the following themes: “Understanding Technology – how to use it,” “TechWomen and communications;” “Women Exploring Innovative Technology in the STEM Fields: Challenges and solutions towards accessing the market.”
Sessions discussed challenges faced by women in the male dominated STEM fields, but also opportunities to rise to these challenges through the experiences of other successful women whose efforts can make a difference.
For additional information on the TechWomen program please visit: www.TechWomen.org. For additional information on other U.S. Department of State Cultural and Educational Programs in Cameroon, please go to http://exchanges.state.gov/.
See Facebook album of program: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155352096300716.1073741988.312546460715&type=1.