Welcome Emma, it’s our pleasure to have you. Tell us a little about yourself and background
I am an innovative Data Scientist at Kenbright Actuarial & Financial Services (KAFS). My qualifications are derived from having graduated with First Class honors in Actuarial Science while pursuing several online data science courses to sharpen my technical skills.
KAFS is a financial services company in Nairobi. We have been in operation for over 20 years serving the East and Central African markets with a focus on insurance, reinsurance, actuarial, risk consultancy and health administration. I was appointed Lead Data Scientist in 2017 after serving as a junior scientist for just nine months.
My focus areas include overseeing the Research & Development department, digital transformations & automation of processes, as well as extraction of insights from data in various forms and using these findings to generate business value.
In my spare time, I visit students in Kenyan Universities and give free motivational talks on various topics in technology. I am passionate about the use of technology to make the world a better place and that is why I urge more students to join the field while still they’re still young. I also volunteer at Angaza Dada Initiative, an initiative whose goal is to empower young women into leadership, entrepreneurship and joining STEM careers. At Angaza Dada, we also campaign against early marriages, gender-based violence, rape & FGM.
How has women conferences (or AWIT specifically) helped you in your business/career so far?
As an enthusiast for Women in Technology, I was thrilled to be appointed as a panelist at last years’ AWIT Conference in Kenya. I learned a lot from other women at the event. Aside from participating in AWIT, I am also a member of ‘Nairobi Women in Data Science & Machine Learning’ and the ‘Next-Generation Women Leaders’ that is sponsored by Mckinsey & Company.
Attending these conferences and meetups has really played a huge role in my career. Interacting and listening to inspiring women who have more experience in the field has provided me with both mentorship and guidance. Through this, I cultivate values and skills that take me higher in my career.
What’s one message you want to share with other women in tech/business?
There are a lot of things that stand in the way of women succeeding in technology and business. The only things that get them through the tough times are self-belief and grit.
Why is grit so important? Grit is the passion and perseverance to achieve your goals over a very long time. Grit is living life like it is a marathon and not a sprint. Grit is getting back up every time you are knocked down. Every! Single! Time!
Even when you don’t feel like getting up. Even when you’re bone tired. Even when you’re down to your last dollar. Even when you’ve lost hope. Just get up one more time. That’s grit.
Join Emma and other pan-African women in technology at the 2018 African Women in Technology (AWIT) Conference, Nairobi this July.