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Country Director, Esther Gathigi Shares 3 Ways DOT Kenya Attracts Rural Women's Interest In Tech

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

One of the criticisms most organisations face is creating solutions to problems they don’t understand or solutions that are not necessarily required. When it comes to advancing women in the digital space one of the organisations that are doing well in ensuring women are well-equipped is DOT - Digital Opportunity Trust, Kenya. We had a chance to speak with the Country Director, Esther Gathigi who shared with us some of the strategies they apply in recruiting rural women to join their digital programs and develop skills that can ultimately lead them to be innovators in tech.

"It would be quite unfortunate to leave out 50% of the population by not giving them the tech skills. In all this technology that is created, is created for people to use."

Esther Gathigi

1. Research

Identify the areas locally where women are lacking digital access and the reasons this is the case. This will help you identify how to connect with these women because as Esther shared you may find putting out digital information for women to join the program won’t work because the women you aim to attract lack connectivity as they don’t have access to smartphones or computers. So you then need an additional strategy to recruit the women.

2. Involving women in the design process

Once you’ve identified the women or individuals you want to access your program, it would be encouraged you have a sit down with them to understand their starting point so that the program is created to serve their current level of ability and skill. When you involve the attendees of your program in the design process, you will then find you will create a program catered for their needs and this will mean they can advance through it, therefore then the likelihood of retaining them into continuing with the program increases.

3. Improving the access

Collaborating with other organisations who can provide the necessary equipment and or space needed for the women to get the skills. So for instance DOT runs its programs in education centres where women have a space to learn freely and easily, access to computers and a trainer to guide them through each level of their program.

In addition to creating such programs, it would also be of interest to your organisation to talk to various companies within the communities you are working with to get a better understanding of what digital skills are lacking locally and then, therefore, tailor-make programs that will increase the chances of individuals being employable in the companies that are locally based.

"Leadership is mostly about taking initiative, being the first person taking action, making decisions and pushing things forward."

Esther Gathigi

Listen to what else Esther had to share through the various digital podcast platforms shared below. Schedule your calendar to listen to the LIVE episodes of the #OVAReactPodcast on Capital FM Kenya on Mondays at 10.30 pm EAT.

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