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Odgers Berndtson partners with Africa Gifted Foundation

Odgers Berndtson has partnered with the African Gifted Foundation, a charity providing STEM education opportunities for young women across Africa.

Founded in 2010 by Tom Ilube, CBE, the African Gifted Foundation delivers a one-year STEM program for gifted African girls from low-income backgrounds. It comprises Cambridge International A-Levels in maths, further maths, and physics, as well as robotics, computer programming, and extra-curricular activities – all on a full scholarship.

Odgers Berndtson, through its global network of leaders, is running an annual speaker series for the students of the foundation’s school, the African Science Academy. The aim of the partnership is to help develop grassroots-level talent within the global science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

The c-suite leaders inspiration series will provide inspirational advice to alumni of the African Science Academy. Through hour-long sessions successful c-suite leaders discuss their route to senior leadership, the skills and experience they believe are important in STEM, and both career opportunities and mistakes they’ve learned from. The speakers also give important life advice on topics such as living and working in a different country, choosing a university, and changing careers.

To date, Odgers Berndtson has run two speaker sessions in the series. The first with Paulette Rowe, CEO at Paysafe Group Integrated and Ecommerce Solutions. The second with Tara Hamilton-Whitaker, COO of MEL Science and former SVP of Delivery at Just Eat Takeaway. 

Daniel Glyn-Jones, principal consultant in Odgers Berndtson’s technology & IT services practice, said:

The STEM sector is sorely underrepresented by diverse female talent at all levels.

"This is an acute challenge within senior leadership, where the vast majority of roles are held by men. Redressing this imbalance needs to happen at a school level and Odgers Berndtson is committed to playing its part by providing careers and life advice from inspirational female leaders within the industry.” 

Tom Ilube, CBE, said: “Our partnership with Odgers Berndtson has helped provide the talented young women of the African Science Academy with inspiring role models and access to brilliant leading women in STEM - at a crucial stage in their development. Representation is key to ensuring more women, and specifically, African women, are encouraged to pursue STEM careers."

There is a wealth of talented women with a passion for STEM across Africa and partnerships such as this will help unlock the female STEM leaders of tomorrow.

The intention is for the partnership to endure for an initial period of two years with an annual review process to evaluate the partnership and agree its continuation. The next speaker sessions will take place in the autumn of 2022. 



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