As the Co-founder of Jayset Consulting, an accounting and management consultancy firm, and currently the Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs of the firm, Selasi Dzikunu is a proven consultant with expertise and deep experience in cross-channel customer experience transformation from strategy through to implementation. She has many years’ experience covering both the technology and business processes in this area. She specializes in knowledge management, process automation, projects/programmes management, working with governments and donors, case management and business management. Selasi brings a deep understanding of business process outsourcing, with focus on driving a more effective customer experience through the social media enablement of marketing, sales, and customer care processes.
Selasi is a female in STEM enthusiast and is currently the Ghana Chapter Lead of Women In Tech Africa, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create today’s female leaders and role Models for tomorrow’s Women, Show the world what a strong African woman is capable of achieving and supporting African growth through technology.
Selasi also served as the Regional Coordinator for Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centre (YESDEC), a social intervention and innovation Programme that develops the skills of young entrepreneurs, creating jobs and making jobs more accessible and actionable. She holds a BSc. in Agric Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Projects Management and currently pursuing MSc. Business Psychology with University of South Wales, UK.
Why did you get into STEM?
I got into STEM by divine intervention. I studied agricultural engineering in the university and it opened my eyes to a lot of things that could be done in Africa. Also, when I came into contact with Women In Tech Africa I saw the need to encourage more young ladies to take up STEM courses being somebody who studied agricultural engineering myself in the university, I realized that the challenges as a female studying a male dominated course was real. At the time I didn’t know what it meant for me. It was just a case to prove myself. We were a class of 12 ladies and about 40 gentlemen so you could understand that everyday was a struggle – every day was a day to prove yourself to the gentlemen that you are as good as them and every day was also a day to prove to your lecturers that your way of thinking and your innovations were good enough. I got so involved in STEM, even after studying engineering in the university, and letting the African girl know that there is a whole world of opportunity for her to be innovative and to explore and discover herself through STEM.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
I don’t think I have had any great achievements yet. However, what makes me happy is that, in my journey of advocating for STEM education, I was part of a team from Women In Tech Africa (WITA) that trained close to a 100 girls in two different projects. The first project was the Her future Africa project. WITA partnered with ATBN to train about 36 girls in coding, business development skills and human-centered design thinking. The second project was with MTN Ghana Foundation where we trained over 50 girls in basic coding and Arduino programming. I think these have been some of my achievements so far.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
I don’t think I will finish overcoming the challenges I have faced. Every day, you are faced with a lot of challenges, as a woman advocating for STEM Education in Ghana. It is more about determination and constantly reminding yourself that STEM is not a boys-only affair. Looking at the world and where we are heading to, technology is the way to go now, therefore, regardless of the course you find yourself studying in school, regardless of the environment you find yourself in, you are going to use technology one way or the other. Being a woman alone is challenging enough and it is more challenging being a STEM enthusiast. I still have some of my female counterparts sending me emails asking me why I am doing this and why we are making a lot of noise about STEM education. Even sometimes when I go into negotiation, sponsorship or partnership meetings I have board of directors of corporate entities asking me why I need money to run a STEM program. These are some of the challenges I come across every day, but I overcome them by not giving up, being consistent, keep myself motivated, volunteering my skills and my time to mentor young people in STEM, and in business. I just take it one day at a time.
What is your advice to budding women in STEM?
My advice to budding women in STEM is to just keep going!! There are a lot of opportunities out there, just keep going, believe in yourself and discover who you are and enjoy life. Technology is the way to go so go for it.