W.TEC’s 13th Anniversary Message
In 2008, W.TEC opened its doors and committed to a journey of raising the next generation of women technology creators, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Our programmes have encompassed intensive technology camps for girls, after-school technology clubs situated in secondary schools, technology workshops for female entrepreneurs, mentorship for female STEM undergraduates and research.
In all this, our work has impacted over 31,000 girls and women and over 85% of our girl alumnae say that they have been inspired to pursue careers in technology and other STEM disciplines.
We are encouraged by the progress made over the last 13 years, but continue to look forward to the opportunities to create greater impact.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2018, only 15.6% of all Engineering, Technology and Environmental Science students were women. This is perhaps unsurprising, as according to our findings, which were based on surveys administered to W.TEC’s She Creates Camp beneficiaries, prior to participating in a W.TEC programme, an astounding 77.6% of the girls believed that STEM careers were strictly meant for men. However, some good news is that 55.1% stated that they would be more encouraged to pursue STEM careers if they had a mentor.
Access to this type of data is key in helping us clearly understand the problem and design appropriate solutions, so W.TEC will be prioritising research as we move forward.
It is also crucial for us to improve on how we use technology to deliver our programmes to more girls than ever before.
2020 was the year that the world went online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and similarly, W.TEC transited as many of our programmes as we could online. In this year and beyond, we need to think through effective ways of reaching girls without access to internet-enabled devices and regular internet access to quality STEM education.
Last year, we piloted the MakeHer Space programme, which provides in-person collaborative spaces for girls to learn about technology and engineering through play. Girls are able to build high and low-tech solutions and this programme would typically not require connection to the Internet. However, due to the pandemic, the MakeHer Space was launched as an online programme.
And although we received overwhelmingly positive feedback, this year, we look forward to delivering the MakeHer Spaces as both in-person and virtual experiences, so as to reach girls and young women who are not online.
I want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to W.TEC’s story so far, from our donors, supporters, partners, the government agencies we have worked with, staff, volunteers, schools and our beneficiaries and their families. Please continue to support our work and share our work with others in your network who you think would be interested in supporting us.
As the world around us keeps changing at a seemingly ever-increasing pace, may we enjoy peace and good health.