To mark the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) is celebrating the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) by recognising leading women taking part in its Women in Leadership programme.
Commenting on the programme which aims to help talented women grow into leaders through training and support, Catherine Gita, the CCBU People and Culture Director said, “As an organisation grounded in innovation and driven by a commitment to sustainability, CCBU recognises the crucial role that women play in shaping the future of STEM and is actively addressing this imbalance through various initiatives”.
A government report in 2014 showed that fewer girls in Uganda were passing biology and maths exams. The 2018 Gender in Education Policy aims to change this by getting more girls into science classes and training teachers to teach STEM subjects better. To support this, the programme aims to close the gender gap and increase female representation in leadership roles, including STEM-related departments.
Some of the exceptional women whose accomplishments exemplify excellence and resilience in STEM include; Doreen Namuyiga, a Quality Assurance Technologist, who ensures CCBU’s products meet the highest standards, driven by her passion for understanding the science behind food and beverage production.
“Pursuing a career in STEM has not been without its challenges, but I am grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. Through perseverance and determination, I have overcome obstacles and continuously struggle to expand my knowledge and expertise in the dynamic field of quality assurance,” she says.
The other is Barbra Namanyi, a Raw Materials Planner, who coordinates procurement and inventory management, leveraging data analytics and supply chain principles. Barbra’s journey in STEM began with a curiosity for problem-solving, demonstrating the diverse opportunities within these fields.
“Young women and girls need to appreciate the different fields under STEM so they can embrace them boldly,” she says.
Another programme beneficiary, Anisha Namugabo, a Quality Controller, envisions a future where every girl has equal opportunities in STEM. She advocates for more female role models and mentors to inspire the next generation of women leaders and innovators.
“International Women in STEM Day serves as a call to action to advocate for gender equality and to empower young girls and women to pursue their dreams in STEM. It is a day to reflect on the progress made in creating a more inclusive and equitable world where every individual, has the opportunity to thrive and make a meaningful impact, regardless of gender,” she says.
Through their achievements, CCBU’s women in STEM embody innovation, resilience, and empowerment.
CCBA is the 8th largest Coca-Cola bottling partner in the world by revenue, and the largest on the continent. It accounts for over 40% of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa by volume. With over 18,000 employees in Africa, CCBA services more than 680,000 customers with a host of international and local brands.
The group was formed in July 2016 after the successful combination of the southern and east Africa bottling operations of the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller plc and Gutsche Family Investments. CCBA shareholders are currently: The Coca-Cola Company 66.5% and Gutsche Family Investments 33.5%. CCBA operates in 15 countries, including its six key markets of South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique and Namibia, as well as Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia, the islands of Comoros and Mayotte, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Malawi.