Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

5 reasons technology world needs more geek girls

Regina Agyare is the founder of Soronko Solutions, a software development company in Accra, Ghana's capital. Regina Agyare is the founder of Soronko Solutions, a software development company in Accra, Ghana's capital.
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
Tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare
  • Regina Agyare is a leading technology entrepreneur from Ghana
  • Her startup, Soronko Solutions, creates websites and e-commerce portals
  • Agyare has also started an initiative teaching young girls in poor areas how to code
  • Here, she discusses why there should be more women working in tech

Every week, African Start-Up follows entrepreneurs in various countries across the continent to see how they are working to make their business dreams become reality.

(CNN) -- "It was like taking a big leap of faith."

That's how Regina Agyare describes her decision back in 2012 to leave her well-paid job at a major international bank in Ghana's capital Accra to follow her dream and embark on her own entrepreneurial journey. Having worked for six years as the bank's only female IT specialist, Agyare quit everything to create Soronko Solutions, a software development company.

"My friends thought I was crazy," recalls Agyare. "But I was like, 'this is it!'"

One of Ghana's first female tech entrepreneurs, Agyare had to overcome many challenges in starting her business -- beginning with breaking the gender barrier in her country.

Breaking down barriers for women in tech
'Hook Up Dinner' connects entrepreneurs

"As an African woman, the role is you go to school, you get a job, you marry," says Agyare, whose startup is now building corporate websites and e-commerce portals for more than 30 businesses in Accra. "Entrepreneurship is not something that you are taught so I never saw myself as an entrepreneur."

Last summer, out of a passion to pass on her expertise, Agyare co-founded "Tech Needs Girls," a mentorship and educational initiative aiming to encourage young women to pursue a career in technology. Along with other female computer scientists, she makes time to visit places like Nima, a slum right in the heart of Accra, to teach girls how to code and develop mobile and web applications.

CNN's African Start-Up caught up with Agyare to talk about her initiative and discuss the reasons why there should be more women in technology. Here's what she said.

Improving technical innovation: "Currently we are missing out on valuable perspectives that 50% of the population can bring to designing the technology of the future. Research shows that diversity improves problem solving, productivity, innovation and ultimately the bottom line -- we need the female perspective in technology."

Reducing social inequalities: "Computing jobs are among the fastest growing and the highest paying, yet few women are benefiting from these occupations. This trend increases social inequalities and barriers to girls' future life opportunities. Girls need to have technology skills in order to thrive in the 21st century as more than 95% of all jobs have a digital component."

I found technology to be very lonely since I was always the only female in the IT department.
Regina Agyare, Soronko Solutions

Teaching girls leadership skills and critical thinking: "By learning to create technology girls learn to speak up since they have to explain their work; they must stand tall in order to be taken seriously in this male-dominated field. The process of writing software is essentially solving a problem using critical thinking and a series of steps. The girls also get to express their creativity through their software designs."

Stopping the workforce exit: "More than half (56%) of women in technology leave their employers at the mid-level point in their careers (10-20 years). Some describe themselves as lone wolves. Personally I found technology to be very lonely since I was always the only female in the IT department."

The numbers say it all: "In the United States, women hold less than 25% of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. In the UK, women now make up 46% of the country's workforce, but hold only 15.5% of the STEM jobs -- this excludes medicine, which has a high representation of women. Each year the number of women studying and pursuing careers in technology goes down by 0.5% thus by 2043 at the current trend less than 1% of the global tech workforce will be female."

READ THIS: 15 African startups to watch

READ THIS: Africa's techies hop aboard the StartupBus

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:23 AM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
East Africa's vibrant music scene has been steadily gaining exposure, and now entrepreneurs and investors are catching on.
updated 10:03 AM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
 A woman sells Liberian flags on the street near an Ebola isolation ward on August 15, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. People suspected of contracting the Ebola virus are being brought by health workers to the center, a closed primary school originally built by USAID, while larger facililities are being constructed to house the surging number of patients. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four West African countries. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
As the economic impact of Ebola in Liberia deepens, workers and entrepreneurs are struggling to deal with the crisis.
updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri November 28, 2014
While public transport networks improve in many African cities, taxis remain a common mode of getting around. Is this three-wheeler about to change that?
updated 9:09 AM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
Christine Mbabazi started designing clothes in her bedroom, now a store owner, she has bigger plans; to become household name.
updated 5:46 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Dakar is the vibrant home of a growing community of surfers taking advantage of the warm weather, year-round waves and cheap flights.
updated 7:01 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Jeffrey Mulaudzi's tourism business is a learning experience on two wheels, giving visitors an opportunity to see the local lifestyle up close.
updated 9:48 AM EST, Mon November 3, 2014
War long made Goma a difficult place to live in, but one woman has set out to change that -- and she's using soft croissants and fresh coffee.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
When you think chocolate, you probably don't think Uganda. But if two local entrepreneurs have their way, you will soon...
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
If someone has shined your shoes in a South African airport, it's probably thanks to Lere Mgayiya.
updated 5:24 AM EDT, Mon September 8, 2014
Meet Kemi Kalikawe, the owner of Naledi Lifestyle Store which specializes in fashion and household items in Dar es Salaam.
updated 6:44 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
On the streets of the Ugandan capital of Kampala, scores of vulnerable children face uncertain futures.
updated 10:00 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
A student works on a laptop in Nigeria.
Five digital natives from five very different African nations have come together to transform the continent's approach to education.
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Translating local charm into eye-catching designs, Definition Africa is a booming t-shirt retailer staying true to its Ugandan roots.
updated 6:46 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Janet Fredman Designs transforms modest materials such as seeds, wood and leather into high-end jewelry.
See the full coverage of CNN's African Start-Up -- the show that follows entrepreneurs across the continent making their dreams become reality.