Selma Ndi: DataGirl Technologies: Career Switch, Cameroon’s Women Bias in Tech and Putting Women on Success

Facing a seeming crisis in sponsoring young girls alongside a group of friends back in the day, Selma Ndi knew she had to reinvent the wheel to meet the times and seasons evolving right under her nose. Her group of friends had pulled out of sustaining the group’s volunteering services of assisting young girls become fashion designers and hairdressers via apprenticeship projects.

The reinvention gave birth to a brain-child, DataGirl Technologies in 2019, a tech skill acquisition program specifically designed to improve the girl-child chances in the career world of technology and digital spaces. She had moved on from merely sponsoring girls to become handiworkers to master of the digital world. She and her friends had named their initial project Womb Initiative.

Selma did not start her career as a techies but was pushed by her parents to become an accountant, a banker or a journalist as she grew up but the Cameroonian was not finding satisfaction in such career path. She held on that path until she happened to come in contact with arts during her higher institution quest.

She bagged a BSc in accounting from the University of Buea, Cameroon and a masters in business administration from the ICT University ICT. She switched her career path after completing her accounting studies to become a full time developer, stating her resolve that women in Cameroon can become successful in their career paths as a tech girl.

While studying at the ICT university she got exposed to coding, programming and all things tech and she was hooked. She fell in love with tech and decided to make a career switch, ditching her accounting career for tech. Her start-up DataGirl Technologies is an ed-tech startup that equips girls with ICT skills which help land tech jobs.

While there are challenges up ahead about the reservations of many companies giving or employing female folks in the tech world, Selma and her company has trained over 3000 girls in digital skills. She has maintained her resolved to establish more and more girls in becoming more informed about career paths and endless successes available to women in Cameroon.

She plans to expand to include cyber security, blockchain technology, AI, Machine learning and data science in the organisation’s coding program so that the girls can have diversification in what they want to learn.