“Black Women and Black girls in STEM are phenomenal! They’re intelligent, fearless, resilient and unstoppable. They exude confidence, strength, determination, and excellence. Accept it…...Black females in STEM rock! “

“When I was young, I was very interested in science and technology, and my dad brought home the first computer. I played pac man and I was hooked! By learning to create technology, girls learn to speak up”

The two quotes above were cited by two distinguished black women who were alarmed about the gender-bias experienced by black women in STEM(Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). The first quote was cited by Stephanie Lahart who is an author, a poet, youth motivational speaker for at-risk teens, teen mentor and fearless entrepreneur while the second quote was cited by Regina Agyare who is a Ghanaian social Entrepreneur, software developer and founder of Soronko solutions. The two quotes cited by these two black women tell the whole story of how hard it is to meet a black woman in STEM encouraged by the society.

According to the UNESCO statistics, women in the tech industry constitute only 28% of the professionals in the sector world-wide, and just 30% in Sub-Saharan Africa. These statistics reveal how poor the percentage of women to men is as it is expected that the remaining 72% worldwide and the remaining 70% in Sub-Saharan Africa are men. But the question is where are all the other women who could have made the statistics better? It is widely believed in most parts of the Sub-Saharan Africa that the place of women in society are:

1. The home (responsible for basic household chores such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children).

2. The farm (weeding, crop harvesting and planting).

3. Jobs (Casual underpaid labors).

These are some of the examples of where the African society expects women to be found.

‘When you educate a woman, you educate the whole nation’, ‘Fuel her fire and she will soar.’ These are some of the proverbs that reveal the purpose of YaaW. YaaW(Yielding Accomplished African Women) is West Africa’s first technology and finance talent accelerator which aims at erecting and cultivating the largest community of African female developers and financial analysts who are passionate about using STEM to revolutionize Africa and Beyond.

What is YaaW’s approach to resolving the gender-bias in STEM in Africa?

YaaW gives African women not only qualitative but also quantitative skills required by these women to succeed in the global STEM market while formulating a gender-specific professional toolkit. While in an interview, Diana Wilson the founder of YaaW said ‘…My research led me to conclude that there is one main factor that is depriving the world of $28trillion dollars in economy……This factor is economic empowerment for women. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, if women had the opportunity in the economy equally as men, this could happen in just 7 years’, those figures are really mind-blowing. It is vivid from her research and the statements she made that the only thing that could help reduce gender-bias in STEM is more YaaW’s across different countries in Africa.

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Yaa W. is West Africa’s first technology and finance talent accelerator. We aim at erecting and cultivating the largest community of African female developers and financial analysts who are passionate about using STEM to revolutionize Africa and beyond. We give these women the qualitative and quantitative skills required to succeed in the highly competitive, global STEM market, while also formulating a gender-specific professional toolkit.

Through partnerships with Fortune 500 businesses (Microsoft, IBM, Bank of America), startups and agencies we created a direct pipeline to economic opportunity. We teach professional development, full stack development, machine learning, mindfulness, and more. Visit our website to see our complete curriculum.

Why It’s Important:

  1. 15 to 20 million well-educated young people will enter into Africa’s labor force annually now through 2030

  2. Currently African women hold 66 percent of all jobs in the non-agricultural informal sector

  3. Excluding women from the professional workplace is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year since 2010

Our Impact:

  • Trained 800 youth, jobseekers, and entrepreneurs all over Africa (all women)

  • 90% of our fellows have received internships and fellowships at top technology or finance firms

  • 100% of our university graduates have received jobs at top technology or finance firms

  • Pioneered Africa's first machine learning conference for 100 young women. In partnership with Google and MTN, the Solving the Algorithm: Women in Machine Learning Conference will be held on December 5th-7th, 2019 in Accra, Ghana

  • Delivered 10,000+ hours of in-person and online training on full stack development, professional development and data science

  • Established a presence in 5 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Mauritius

  • Launched the first ever professional STEM sorority university chapters in Africa

  • Partnered with 20+ technology/financial companies and startups in Africa and globally

  • Sponsored 500 young women to West Africa’s Largest Tech Summit

Thank you to all of our executive team members, sponsors, donors, corporate partners and supporters. Cheers to continuing the journey of “Revolutionizing the Face of Technology & Finance”. #yaawturns2

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“The Women in Machine Learning conference is the best conference I’ve ever attended. It’s a holistic conference that covers virtually all aspects of one’s personal development and career. Asides it being a tech conference, we also had sessions on positive thinking, building powerful personal brands and we had hands on training with top Google engineers. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. It has changed the trajectory of my career in ML” –Temilade Adelakun

We made history (herstory) by bringing the first Women in Machine Learning Conference to Africa! Yielding Accomplished African Women created this 2.5 day pioneering and unique conference to empower the next generation of women in ML and help close the gap in gender-based inequalities in machine learning.

Here are few quick facts that convey the grandeur of this event:

- Women hailed from Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana - #WIML trended on Twitter in Ghana 2 days in a row! - 100 young African women onboarded unto Google Cloud Platform through pre-conference training (17 hours)

- Holistic curriculum that included Qwiklabs, AutoML, Tensorflow, ML Fairness, Human centered approach to AI/ML, branding, mindfulness, and an #Iamremarkable session

If you want to read through a first-hand perspective, please see this Medium article written by Eniola Ladipo. This conference has truly empowered 100 African women on their journey to build tools that will shape the future. Keep an eye out for the blog posts from the fellows who attended!

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Building the largest community of African female developers and financial analysts who passionate about using STEM

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