Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a special day set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political empowerment and achievement by women. The 2019 theme for this auspicious day was #BalanceForBetter and search engine Giant was not left behind in marking the occasion.
In Kenya, Google went further to incept a new program for empowering the women-folk economically. The program, Women Will, is designed to match women with relevant (market-demanded) skills. It does so by matching women with educational materials and mentors.
“From helping women across Kenya access digital skills and bringing together women entrepreneurs, Google is keen on developing and supporting programs that help women build skills, get inspired and connect with each other,” said Farzana Khubchandani, the Google Kenya Marketing Manager.
Around the world, there is a consistency in the gap between men- and women-owned businesses. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) reported that the womenfolks own just 32.2% of certified small and medium enterprises. The menfolk owned 47.9% of the SMEs.
There is clearly a disparity in opportunities for economic empowerment between men and women. And such initiatives by Google and other smaller organizations such as the African Women In Tech (AWIT) conference are striving to bridge that gap.
Google plans to extend the Women WIll program beyond Kenya, and Brazil, Mexico, India, Japan, and Indonesia are next in the pipeline where the program will launch.