WomeninTechZA (womenintech.co.za) is an initiative that aims to help address the gender gap in the ICT sector.
Only 23% of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa – out of 236 000 ICT (tech) roles, women occupy 56 000 of them. As a sector, we need to hire women to improve diversity in the workplace (and it’s been proven that higher diversity equals higher productivity and profit). But we cannot find women with the required skills, and we cannot attract young women to the sector because when they look at conferences, in the media and inside technology companies, they mainly see men (who they can’t relate to), doing what they perceive to be ‘boring’ jobs.
In order to improve both one and two, WomeninTechZA aims to act as a showcase and provide a platform where technology companies can find women to hire, and to start changing the image of the tech sector by showing the world the diverse faces of ICT.
WomeninTechZA’s activities centre around the WomeninTechZA site, which profiles local women in the technology sector. The premise is simple – if you are female and in tech, we want to feature you. The idea is profile as many women as possible, across a range of roles and seniority levels.
As part of its efforts, WomeninTechZA wants to hold regular networking events bringing together women in the sector to network and share their experiences and challenges, and to document and feed these back into the market using the website as a platform to publish reportbacks and findings.
As part of its advocacy efforts, WomeninTechZA speaks regularly at conferences including SQLSat JHB & CT, Mzansi Women’s Film Festival, iWeek and Tech4Africa. Please contact Samantha if you’d like us to speak at your event.
Please nominate any women you think should be profiled on this blog my emailing samantha dot perry at gmail dot com. If you want to be involved with attending or sponsoring events you can also mail Sam. Thanks!
The WomeninTechZA team:
Co-founder/human in charge: Samantha Perry worked as a journalist in the tech sector for 17 years’ writing for a range of media, mainly in the ICT sector including Brainstorm magazine, Mail & Guardian, several niche B2B titles and several corporate clients. She also has a Masters degree in ICT Policy & Regulation. She currently works in the strategic communications field.
Copy editor: Tamaryn Shepherd has always been a writer. She was first published in 1995 at the age of 8 by her junior school magazine, the Clarence Roundabout. She has since then had her byline appear in other (lesser) titles, Connect, Brainstorm and Essentials to name a few.
She’s been around the interwebs since IRC’s heyday and over the last few years has done time as a tech journalist, advertising copywriter, editor, sub-editor, blogger, ghost-writer and somewhere in between, she accidentally grew two humans from scratch.
These days she is a freelance digital marketing writer and social media content co-coordinator for a large hospitality brand.
Tamaryn has a husband, a kitsch crockery fetish and an Instagram addiction.