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Ivy Barely and Dr. Grace Olugbodi Inspire Inclusion in African Ed-Tech

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Ivy Barely and Dr. Grace Olugbodi Inspire Inclusion in African Ed-Tech

What does it mean for women to lead the Ed-Tech industry through localized, evidence-based research, and innovation, and influence education policy in Africa?

For Ivy Barley, the decision was fueled by her advocacy centered around women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

She co-founded Developers in Vogue to empower African women with the latest knowledge of technologies and connect them to real-time projects and jobs.

As a self-taught programmer, she wanted to transform the lives of women through Education Technology.

So, in 2017, Ivy along with Maxwell Cofie started Developers in Vogue to tackle the gender disparity in Ghana's digital economy. Developers in Vogue run a boot camp program that provides practical and project-oriented training for African women, connecting them to mentors and job opportunities globally in the tech industry.

Ivy Barley participated in the 2017 Yunus & Youth Global Fellowship, equipping her with tools to strengthen her social impact efforts, specifically in women's education and empowerment in Africa. Through the program, she refined Developers in Vogue's training and job placement approach for women in tech and gained valuable insights to guide their growth strategy.

That same year Barley won the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GYSEC), a joint initiative by GhanaThink Foundation and Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) supporting young, impactful entrepreneurs. And was named among the 50 Most Influential Young Ghanaians in 2019. Notably, she also received the Tech Entrepreneur Award at the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Award in November 2021.

Barley led a winning project at the Microsoft Global Hackathon's "Hack for Society" challenge in 2021. This competition, sponsored by Microsoft leaders, focused on using data and technology to address critical issues impacting underserved communities worldwide.

Barley is currently a Technical Program Manager on the Open Education Analytics (OEA) at Microsoft, Seattle, Washington, United States.

“Coding and generally technology has so much untapped potential in Africa. For females, the future is even brighter. Day in and day out there are so many opportunities that come up to promote women in technology.” - Ivy Barley

But she is not the only one pushing the way forward in Ed-Tech Africa…

When Grace Olugbodi was a child, her father made learning mathematics fun and creative for her. This early exposure to engaging math led directly to her pursuing a degree in Computing at London Guildhall University. During her first year, she went to the Student Union Building and volunteered to tutor other students who were struggling with math.

She did not stop there. Through an advert, she volunteered at the Sir John Cass Foundation to help community kids build their math confidence through games and creative ways.

Nine years after Graduating with a first-class degree in BSc Computing degree, and working in Investment Banks as a Software Programmer, her fulfilling classroom experience did not leave her.

In primary and secondary schools, where she volunteered as a tutor, Grace had developed a framework for practical, fun games to reduce anxiety and negative attitudes of her students towards math.

According to her, it was a pivotal point.

So she made it her mission to help children fall in love with mathematics, as a game that they would love to play all the time.

Years later, in 2017, armed with her creative approach to demystifying Maths, Grace Olugbodi created, Begenio.

'Race To Infinity' is BeGenio's first board game. It is designed to develop decision-making, social skills, problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, analytical thinking skills, and spatial ability for kids and adults alike.

Grace Olugbodi isn’t just a financial analyst or an entrepreneur and programmer; she inspires inclusion for women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

In over two decades of her career, even with much success, Grace often found herself as the only woman in most of the teams she worked. Because she made herself stand out, she did not ‘suffer any of the negative symptoms of the Gender Wage Gap.’

With this confidence, she inspires inclusion for women, especially in a society that undervalues the abilities of girls' in "tasking" activities such as careers in STEM.

To deconstruct this myth, Grace believes that through grassroots initiatives, educating girls about STEM careers can change a whole generation, starting from the ground up. Consequently, equipping them to take up roles in STEM careers.

Mentorship is also a big deal for Grace. It was under mentorship at Virgin Startup that she developed Race to Infinity, the education technology which has been awarded the prestigious Amazon Choice Badge and the Amazon Bestseller Badge multiple times. Race to Infinity is also available in 12 countries and has won several national awards in the UK and international awards.

Therefore, for women to thrive as leaders, it's crucial to have female mentors and role models in STEM who inspire inclusion.

In 2014, Grace won the "Damsels in Success: Women Inspiring Women" national award in the UK for Business Growth for the second time. In 2019, Grace was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from London Metropolitan University in recognition of her work in helping children fall in love with Maths. Her other achievements in 2019 include the Micro to Small Business Award and the Best of Greenwich Business Award. Grace has won numerous awards in the last few years. She has appeared on the BBC (BBC Business Live) and has spoken at Barclays Plc and the London School of Economics.

As well as her bestselling book "Get in the Game," she is also the author of "Make Maths Fun: How to Increase Your Child's Grades and Confidence Through Games."

“I believe that educating girls about STEM careers is an important solution to changing a whole generation. We need a proper, "one-world" drive from grassroots, everywhere, to inspire girls to want to take up these sort of roles and go into STEM careers.” - Grace Olugbodi

In conclusion, The African tech industry has seen a rise in the participation of women like Ivy Barely and Dr. Grace Olugbodi. Driven by factors such as increased access to education, mobile technology, and recognition of diversity. Initiatives like Developers in Vogue boot camps and Mozisha’s mentorship programs have emerged to provide women with the necessary skills. However, there is still a significant gap in funding for female-led startups, with only 3% of venture capital funding going to startups with a female CEO. Despite this, there are promising developments, such as the rise of female-focused investment funds and communities supporting women in the tech ecosystem. The future of tech in Africa looks bright with the growing contributions of African women.

Driven by our core value of empowerment, At Mozisha, we recognize the importance of gender diversity in the tech industry. To bridge the gap and create a more balanced society, we've developed a pioneering platform that connects talented female mentees with experienced tech mentors.

Our program fosters mentorship and knowledge sharing, empowering women to develop the in-demand skills they need to succeed in the global market. It aligns perfectly with our mission of equipping young Africans with the resources to thrive.

Through our platform, Mozisha fosters collaboration between established professionals and aspiring women in tech. This not only empowers individual careers but also contributes to a more diverse and innovative tech landscape in Africa.


5 Things We Need To Do To Close The Gender Wage Gap”, with Dr. Grace E Olugbodi and Candice Georgiadis - https://medium.com/authority-magazine/5-things-we-need-to-do-to-close-the-gender-wage-gap-with-dr-grace-e-olugbodi-and-candice-georgia-7d30830be92e

Developers in Vogue Boot Camp - https://developersinvogue.org/bootcamp/

Grace E Olugbodi - Founder, BeGenio - https://elitebusinessevent.co.uk/speakers/grace-e-olugbodi/

Grace Olugbodi - Honorary graduates (London Metropolitan University) - https://www.londonmet.ac.uk/profiles/students/grace-olugbodi/

Grace Olugbodi – Turning maths into fun games - https://guardian.ng/guardian-woman/grace-olugboditurning-maths-into-fun-games/

Grace Olugbodi LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/gracetogunolugbodi/?originalSubdomain=uk

How Grace E Olugbodi Tackles The Extreme Work Life Balance Of Being A Woman In STEM During COVID-19-


Ivy Barley – Ghscientific - https://ghscientific.com/ivy-barley/

Ivy Barley - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivybarley/

Ivy Barley – Yunus and Youth https://yunusandyouth.com/project/ivy-barley/

Making Maths Fun With Dr. Grace Olugbodi - https://medium.com/high-profile-magazine/making-maths-fun-with-dr-grace-olugbodi-3a0a4086cbd6

Race To Infinity - https://www.racetoinfinity.com/

Top Finalists Announced for 2021 AWIEF Awards - https://www.awieforum.org/top-finalists-announced-for-2021-awief-awards/

Volunteering Led to My Successful Business Venture - https://businessnews.org.uk/article/OGJ657D7/volunteering-led-to-my-successful-business-venture

Yunus and Youth Fellowship 2017 Alumni - https://yunusandyouth.com/meet-the-yy-fellows/

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