Huawei aims to impact 4,000 Kenyan girls, women in next 12 months via new initiative




Huawei Kenya has launched its Women In Technology Huawei (WITH) initiative. Though Huawei has always sought to support women in the workplace and through charitable ICT skills training programs, with the industry in Kenya continuing to be male-dominated, it was decided a more strategic and ambitious strategy was needed.

Through WITH, Huawei aims to take a more systematic approach to addressing women taking up technical careers. WITH aims to empower, connect and support current and future generations of women by providing them with role models, skills, opportunities and support to develop their interest, careers and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

(TOP: Huawei Kenya CEO, Stone He, takes a selfie with guests who attended the WITH initiative launch).

Key targets announced at the event include doubling the number of young girls that would be mentored and trained through CSR programs; seeking to promote one third of women employees and train one half of women employees in 2019; increasing from 10% to 15% the proportion of lecturers trained that are female and increase by 10% the female students trained. Further commitments were made to support at least 7 customers and partners with their women in technology initiatives and to increase procurement spend with women-owned suppliers. All told, Huawei hopes to directly impact over 4,000 girls and women over the next 12 months.

WITH will do this through six strategies:

  1. Management and Communications: Internal leadership and management of WITH, monitoring WITH progress, and communications to promote WITH internally and externally.
  2. Human Resources and Administration: Equal opportunity in employment, training, promotion, compensation; supportive facilities, workplace culture and activities.
  3. Procurement: Support women-owned or managed suppliers to increase their purchase orders from Huawei; encouraging and supporting existing suppliers to recruit, train and promote women employees
  4. Partners and Customers: Encouraging partners & customers to recruit, train and promote women employees; establish women-friendly culture and practices.
  5. CSR: Create awareness and inspiration for girls of women in technology, provide training to girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and encourage them to take a career in STEM.
  6. ICT Academies: Enhance ICT training for female students, lecturers; increase opportunities through ICT Competition, Campus Ambassadors program, internships etc.

During the launch event, Stone He, CEO of Huawei Kenya stated: “As CEO, I am personally driving this Women In Technology Huawei Initiative. It is very important that we can have more women in technology. The data for Huawei is about average for the ICT industry in Kenya, but this is too low. We need to improve them. We have done quite a lot already with our staff, with our interns, with our charity partners, and importantly also with our University partners; but there are many things we can still do. We have set some plans and targets and we will do our best and try to improve.”

During the launch event, Huawei invited various partners across the value chain: their customers, suppliers, academic partners, charitable partners, channel partners and peers in order to discuss how to collaborate to drive the WITH agenda together.

Speaking at the launch Maureen Mwaniki, head of health and safety, and who is spearheading the WITH initiative, said “We have made good strides but we have a lot more to do to, with this launch we have set clear goals and together with the partners we will achieve them”.

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