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These Women Are Making Waves in Tech's Emerging Markets

Do emerging tech hubs offer opportunities for women that Silicon Valley failed to deliver in recent decades? Can hubs such as Moscow, London, New York and even Nairobi offer women a level playing field of opportunities?

According to an article by Monty Munford published on Mashable, a report released in June from Dell, The Gender Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), would suggest that the West still leads the way. Out of 17 countries, monitored, it showed that the U.S. was the best place for female entrepreneurs, followed by Australia, France, Germany and Mexico. But that's not to say women aren't making an impression.

Helen Keegan (@technokitten on Twitter) has 25 years of experience of working in and around London, and she's the founder of Heroes of Mobile. She sees things changing slowly, but believes there is still work to be done.

“The good news is there are lots of women working in London’s tech industry. The bad news is there aren’t enough of us. We’re almost invisible at board level, and the new girls on the block coming up from school aren’t interested in having a career in tech, yet will quite happily use it, day in and day out."

What has changed, she says, is that now we're talking about it. "Women in Wireless in London and Women in Telecoms and Technology both have a mentoring scheme. Women 2.0 mentors female tech founders and has regular Founder Friday meetups across the globe." Keegan says that 50 years ago, there weren’t any female toilets at the University of London for students. "We have come a long way, but we still have a little further to go,” she says.

Keegan’s view is backed up by Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded, a company with offices in London and New York that practices "digital enlightenment" through an understanding of code. Parsons is passionate about women learning about technology and is confident that those who do will prosper.

“There is an appetite for women to opt-in to tech, learn to code and become digitally literate," say Parsons, adding that Decoded has a nearly 50:50 male-to-female ratio.

“And I know about a swathe of exciting networking events in New York and London about to launch that are set up by female founders and CEOs. The kind of events that are not subsidiary to the main event; they are going to be center stage and the place where lots of fun and business will happen,” says Parsons.

But perhaps we should look away from Europe and North America to Africa, perhaps the last frontier making huge strides in the tech space — but one where women are represented at the highest level.

“Women in tech hubs like iHub Nairobi are not only part and parcel of its history, but have led with outstanding ideas," says Parsons. She cites two women in particular, whom she's seen grow in the tech space — Linda Kamau, co-founder of Akirachix and Jamilla Abbas, co-founder of M-Farm. "They are excelling and paving the way for technologists of the future here in Kenya," says Parsons.

Read full article on Mashable

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