The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has charged young women pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to overcome gender bias, take up the opportunities which have been created for them and reach the pinnacle of their chosen STEM career.
The CEO made this call at the second edition of the STEM Woman Project held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Saturday 5th March, 2022.
Speaking at the event themed ‘STEM Sheroes, Break the Bias’, Patricia Obo-Nai noted that society unintentionally pushes women out of STEM with deep-seated biases ranging from the perceived role of women in society to assumptions of women being economic burdens.
“Even though our girls are doing so well in science and maths, what are they told? They have nice handwriting and could do well in the arts. You can’t pursue science and maths because they are difficult. And yet you have better grades and would be able to do amazingly well in maths and science. Even when you get into corporates, we are still told that women don’t have confidence. They lack ambition. They have such a workload at home that they can’t take on senior roles. They can’t cope,” she stated.
Patricia was however confident that women pursuing education in STEM can change the narrative and empower other women to pursue the same course they have chosen.
According to her, there exists an array of opportunities for women in STEM to contribute to breaking the bias in the field. “The tech sector has experienced strong growth, with lots of job openings. And actually, because of the push for diversity and inclusion, companies are being very deliberate in looking to fill these roles with women. That creates opportunities for you,” she explained.
The CEO further urged women not to give up in their pursuit of careers in STEM, as that is a sure way of achieving their power and worth. She stressed that young girls in STEM should never feel alone, as other women before them have achieved a lot in the field.
Patricia Obo-Nai also encouraged young women in STEM to stay on the path because it has enormous potential and endless opportunities as their success in STEM serves a higher purpose.
The second edition of the STEM Woman’s Project was in celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day under the theme ‘STEM Sheroes Break the Bias’.