The GE Reports Africa blog has launched a new series known as “Women in Technology” which profiles GE SSA’s unsung female heroes, highlighting their contribution at GE.
Pursue your dreams, regardless of your background,” says Abigail Asamoah, who is currently on GE’s Early Career Development Programme in Accra, Ghana. “Those of us involved in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] fields need to inspire and encourage young girls to pursue STEM careers. I think it’s important for more women to get involved in STEM roles because science is one of the most empowering and creative fields that one can invest in. Also, putting more women in STEM roles will increase innovation and creativity.”
Abigail believes more women are needed in science and engineering to solve the difficult challenges “we face because if you don’t have their unique perspective, there might be instances where our experiences and needs are overlooked. As more women enter these fields, you see the difference their perspective brings. For example, there is one lady I know who is a mother and a bio-engineer. She is working on a scope that allows for the use of additional attachments to diagnose children’s ear infections and this is a perfect example of why we need more of a women’s perspective.” Abigail also developed a mobile phone application to help working mothers with nutritional meal planning.
She studied management information systems at Ashesi University College and is also studying for her master’s degree in information systems online through the University of Roehamton, London. She joined GE’s one-year entry-level ECDP in IT last year and is hoping to join the Digital Technology Leadership Programme (DTLP) in three months. “I’ve always been interested in IT and I hope to join the DTLP because digital technology supports GE in so many ways. It’s a two-year programme with four rotational assignments in different parts of the world and you get to work on challenging projects. I’m very excited about this.”
Abigail is learning about the many ways that digital technology supports GE in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). She currently works with the senior manager for programme management in SSA and the vice president for digital operations in SSA, and she is learning a great deal. “I’m being given an opportunity to learn about all the different business divisions in GE. For example, I am working on the installation of a power digital solution for a customer and I had to do a course about power plants, and I learnt a lot. We experience a good mix of in-class and on-the-job training that is very useful.”
“One of the most exciting aspects of the training is that I get to interact with digital leaders who know so much. We also get the opportunity to work with people across divisions, from oil and gas, marketing and power. I’m learning a lot from all the people we work with.”
“My parents have always been very supportive since I decided to study computer science, especially my mother. If other girls are having a tough time convincing their parents to allow them to study computer science and IT, I suggest they explain the benefits of such a career and educate their parents about IT as well as all the possibilities and solutions it provides. Maybe their parents just need to know more.”
Abigail said GE is very supportive of women in tech and she therefore hasn’t experienced any challenges at work with regards to sometimes being the only woman in meetings, or in training sessions, or on projects. She believes firmly in giving back to the community and currently volunteers for the Tech Needs Girls initiative in Ghana, which is focused on teaching young girls how to code. Abigail is also involved in STEM activities that the GE Ghana Volunteers get involved in.