Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, has urged corporate institutions, particularly those in STEM fields, to strive for gender parity by hiring more women.
Patricia issued this call during her remarks at the introduction of the Seats for Ladies in STEM (S4LIS) initiative. The initiative is designed to accelerate Ghana’s development by encouraging women to embrace STEM.
The Vodafone CEO, who doubles as the Chairperson of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, stated that gender inequality in both policy and academia has had a massive effect on the country’s development. It has “undermined the optimal deployment of human capital in numerous countries,” she said.
According to her, Ghana is no different from other Sub-Saharan African nations in that only about 30% of women graduate from postsecondary education in engineering professions. Approximately 30% of all tertiary students are women, according to the demographic census conducted in 2021. “Because of this, we lose the ideas and contributions our women could make to scientific research and technological progress,” she explained.
She consequently asked businesses to give women more seats in their organisations and to let them participate in decision-making in the boardroom.
“We can only do our part by creating seats for them in our institutions. Together, we can increase diversity in the digital workforce, foster growth and creativity across the nation, and produce more comprehensive solutions that are beneficial for everyone.
Let us expand the number of women who work in STEM fields, welcome them into our workplaces, provide seats for them, and encourage them along the way, but more significantly, let us get them into boardrooms where they can influence decisions,” she added.
The government, educational institutions, and other stakeholders have made investments in STEM fields for girls, and Patricia acknowledged these efforts. To support these investments, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications’ S4LIS initiative aims to raise the proportion of women holding STEM-related positions from 30 percent in 2021 to 40 percent by 2031.
The initiative was launched under the theme “Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM in Ghana,” and is a collaboration between the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation.
In attendance were the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey; the Chairperson of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications; and Vodafone CEO, Madam Patricia Obo-Nai, among others.