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Press Release
SAP's #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounges Foster STEM Skills and Careers Among Young Women in Africa

The first #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounge in Africa is opening at the SAP Next-Gen Lab location at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.

The launch of #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounge at UCT coincides with the #sheinnovates Festival taking place today at Startupbootcamp AfriTech.

The first #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounge in Africa is opening at the SAP Next-Gen Lab location at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.

The launch of #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounge at UCT coincides with the #sheinnovates Festival taking place today at Startupbootcamp AfriTech.

Located at SAP Next-Gen Lab spaces on university campuses worldwide and launched in a collaboration with The Female Quotient and their Girls’ Lounge program, #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounges aim to encourage young women to pursue STEM education and gain skills as next-generation purpose-driven innovators who can accelerate solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Working Together to Accelerate Women’s Participation in Technology

“The Female Quotient is committed to advancing equality in the workplace through collaboration, activating solutions for change and creating metrics for accountability,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, which creates experiential pop-ups at global conferences, corporations, and college campuses where women connect, collaborate, and activate change together. “The destination-turned-movement has become the largest community of business women rising up to transform workplace culture. Anything is possible when we come together with compassion and purpose.”

“We are excited to open the first African #sheinnovates Girls’ Lounge,” said Gwamaka Mwalemba, manager of the SAP Next-Gen Lab at UCT. “Due to the high levels of gender inequality in Africa — especially in tech — it is extremely important to inspire young girls to become entrepreneurs and innovators. By establishing the Girls’ Lounge, we created a space where our female students can come together to collaborate and exchange ideas, as well as share knowledge, experiences, and inspirations that will drive them to become successful entrepreneurs, innovators and change agents.”

#sheinnovates Girls’ Lounges support the goals of the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC), a dynamic partnership between UN Women and leaders from the private sector, academia, and nonprofit institutions that is focused on developing the innovation market to work better for women and girls and to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“SAP Next-Gen and #sheinnovates are strongly aligned with the goals of both The Female Quotient and the UN Women GICC,” said Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of the SAP Next-Gen program. “With inspiration from The Female Quotient and with the example of UCT, educational institutions across the global SAP Next-Gen network of more than 3,600 universities and schools in 113 countries — including the more than 100 campuses that have opened SAP Next-Gen Lab spaces — can join the #sheinnovates movement. Girls’ Lounge locations at campuses can help build awareness of the potential for innovations developed by young women, identify barriers to having more girls and young women pursue STEM education and careers, and work collaboratively to take actions to address these barriers.”

Join #sheinnovates to Support Next-Generation Female Innovators

To become part of this movement, check out the #sheinnovates podcasts and join the digital conversation on Twitter with @she_innovates, @weareTFQ, @UN_Women, and @SAPNextGen using the hashtag #sheinnovates.

The SAP Next-Gen initiative, a purpose-driven innovation university and community aligned with SAP’s commitment to the 17 UN Global Goals for sustainable development, supports SAP’s more than 404,000 customers across 25 industries in more than 180 countries. The program leverages over 3,600 educational institutions in 113 countries, more than 100 SAP Next-Gen Lab spaces at universities and at partner and SAP locations, and more than 38 SAP Next-Gen Chapters, as well as startups, accelerators, tech community partners, venture firms, futurists, and purpose-driven institutions. The initiative also leverages SAP’s more than 100 innovation, development, and customer experience centers and SAP’s network of over 17,000 partner companies. SAP Next-Gen connects customers to academic thought leaders and researchers, students, startups, accelerators, tech community partners, purpose-driven partners, venture firms, futurists, and SAP experts to reimagine the future of industries and the intelligent enterprise, seed disruptive innovation with startups, and build skills for digital futures. Customers can benefit from services as well as events from SAP Next-Gen where digital innovators come together in an open community to foster the future of industries with the latest technologies from SAP.