On June 30, 13 young women graduated from women’s advancement organisation Wedu Global’s Women Leadership Academy In Tech, at Impact Hub. This marked the conclusion of five months of mentorship and development of young women in the technological field.
Ms Sokhema Nara, education consultant for Wedu, commented on the importance of the programme, “We have unequal numbers of women participating in technology. That’s why we want to support them further (by) giving them networks and opportunities so that they can reach their maximum potential and step up higher (and) faster.”
Cambodian women who are interested in tech can be discouraged not only by the societal pressure of standing up for themselves in a male-dominated workplace, but also disapproval from families who feel ‘IT is not a world for women’, Ms. Nara explained. Additionally, the small number of women in tech also makes it hard to form adequate support networks for other women who want to join and thrive in tech careers. “It was quite hard to find speakers fitting this event,” she said.
Throughout the programme, participants undertook workshops, heard stories of women achieving in tech careers, and received mentoring sessions to build their confidence, advance their communication and networking skills, and support them as they work towards their personal goals. They were also given the opportunity to visit Cambodian leading tech company, Smart Axiata, and interacted with prominent businesswomen such as Ms. Leakhena Long, Co-founder of Joonak Delivery, to learn from their experiences in the tech industry.
A participant, Ratanawan Thepanom, listed one of her achievements from attending the programme at the graduation ceremony, “The first day I was here, I was not confident enough to volunteer myself when it was asked if there’s anyone here that want to be a mentee as role play. I loved to stay in my comfort zone and it was so tiring for me to talk with people. But my mentor, Ms Adrienne Ravez (COO of Quantum Endorphine Digital), encouraged me a lot and pushed me to my fullest potential. My communication skills have improved gradually by talking with her and by delivering a 20-minute speech on “Women in Technology” in front of 20 people at her company. What I learned is that I can do anything, it’s just a matter of practice.”
Geeks in Cambodia congratulates these women and hopes to see more Cambodian girls follow their footsteps and chase their dreams of a career in tech!