Category Archives: Advocacy

MTN announces Women in ICT – partnership for Change Wards finalists

Following an intense review process, involving hundreds of nominations, members of the adjudication panel have selected the top three entries in each category that will be vying for this year’s MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards.

This is the second year that MTN, in partnership with Kagiso Media’s Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio as well as ITWeb’s Brainstorm, is hosting the Awards.

This initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the ICT sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution towards the growth and development of the sector. In doing so, this initiative also aims to enhance the industry’s employer value proposition by attracting and encouraging girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry.

The adjudication panel worked until the weekend to whittle down the entries to the top three nominees in each category. The three shortlisted candidates in each category are as follows.

Leadership Recognition Award: recognises senior female executives in the ICT sector whose proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams has impacted positively on the organisations they lead. The shortlisted candidates in this category are:

  1. Carol Thomas

  2. Dr Madelise Grobler

  3. Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane

Innovator Recognition Award: recognises women who have introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world. The candidates are:

  1. Caroline Macharia
  2. Lindiwe Matlali
  3. Rene Pearson

SME Recognition Award: recognises wholly-owned, women-run enterprises that are viable businesses making inroads in the ICT sector. This is also extended to MTN employees who run their own enterprises on the side, using ICT to enable their businesses. The candidates are:

  1. Matau Ramapuputla
  2. Nomsa Makhanda
  3. Sivashni Moodley

Community Builder Recognition Award: recognises a woman who has made a considerable difference in her community through ICT, or use of an ICT tool to make a difference in the community. The candidates in this category are:

  1. Baratang Miya
  2. Gomolemo Motlhwai
  3. Martine Schaffer

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): recognises a woman who has longstanding success in the ICT industry, has demonstrated a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, and has continually stayed ahead of the curve. The shortlisted candidates in this category are:

  1. Baratang Miya

  2. Dr HF Swanepoel
  3. Felleng Sekha

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: this category seeks to recognise a journalist who has contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting. The candidates are:

  1. Loni Prinsloo

  2. Paula Gilbert
  3. Simnikiwe Mzekandaba

CEO’s Award: this award recognises an MTN employee who has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and Technology. The shortlisted candidates are:

  1. Fatima Mayet
  2. Lerato Sebata
  3. Prudence Mokone

In addition to the categories listed above, a significant female ICT professional, whose contribution has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to telecommunication services, will be announced at the gala awards event later this month.

Says Graham de Vries, Executive Corporate Services at MTN SA: “We are delighted with the progress we have made in once again celebrating the excellence and distinction of women in the information and communications sector. The selection process was very challenging due to the high caliber of nominations received. As we continue to celebrate Women’s Month, and the strides that women have made in all spheres of life, it is humbling and gratifying that MTN, in partnership with Kagiso Media, also celebrates remarkable women who are making a mark in this technical and competitive industry.”

The winners will be announced at a gala event that will be hosted in Johannesburg on 31 August 2017.  Remember to follow the conversation on twitter: #MTNWIICT2017.

Johannesburg 28 out of top 50 cities for women entrepreneurs

Dell has announced the findings of its 2017 Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities) – a global, gender-specific index that looks at a city’s ability to attract and foster growth of women-owned companies.

Johannesburg ranked 28th out of the 50, ahead of Seoul, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin, to name a few notable locations. The top five cities for women entrepreneurs are New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm. Cities are ranked on five categories of characteristics – capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. The study ranks cities to show the impact of local policies, programs and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs on high-performing women entrepreneurs.

“Globally, women’s entrepreneurship rates are growing more than 10 percent each year. In fact, women are as likely or more likely than men to start businesses in many markets. However, financial, cultural and political barriers can limit the success of these businesses,” says Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell. “By arming city leaders and policymakers with data-driven research and clear calls to action, we can collectively improve the landscape for high-potential women entrepreneurs, which in turn dramatically lifts a city’s economic prospects – as what is good for women is good for the economy.”

Johannesburg’s rating

Johannesburg Overall Score 38.6/100 | Overall Rank 28/50
4.7 million population
$102 billion Gross Metro Product (2016)
Top industries by employment are: (1) Finance, (2)Trade, (3) Community services & (4) Manufacturing

Notable Strengths
Powerful women in South Africa, at least in politics, are not uncommon: the percentage of women in the Parliament of South Africa, 44%, is among the highest in the world.
Additionally, women represent 42% of the Cabinet and 38.4% of local government.
The country also has several policies designed to decrease gender bias.

For example, Section Nine of the Constitution of South Africa guarantees “equality before the law and freedom from discrimination” and the Employment Equity Act defines “unfair discrimination” as a difference in terms and conditions of employment between employees of the same employer performing the same or substantially the same work or work of equal value based on gender, among other characteristics (ranking it 7th on Policy in the Culture pillar).

Moreover, female talent in South Africa extends beyond politics: in Johannesburg, 76% of adult women participate in the labour force and there are four local business schools with an average female enrolment of nearly 43%.

Ranking 11th on Markets overall (driven by its 7th place rank in Policy), the City of Johannesburg also has a website that helps people start a business and the national statistics agency, StatsSA, collects gender data on income and employment at the regional level in the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS), which helps keep track of women’s economic progress over time.
Areas for Improvement
Johannesburg has many opportunities to better nurture and support women entrepreneurs.
Education is a key area for improvement, both for entrepreneurial women and the workforce at large: less than 19% of the female working age population has a tertiary education or above (although this is still higher than the 17% of the male population with a tertiary education or above). Another area of improvement is paid maternity benefits, which currently stand at just four months of unpaid or partially paid maternity leave. This would help women maintain and build their capital base where the city ranks 39th.

Johannesburg could host networking opportunities and build city level organisations and/or incubator and accelerator programs specifically for entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

Johannesburg also ranks 50th on safety. That said, it could address its high crime rate (and its percent of people worried about being attacked) so the overall working environment is safer for women.

Johannesburg could also increase women’s use of technology by developing programs to decrease the high average monthly cost of internet (ranking 41st) and by creating technology training programs specifically designed for women (where it ranks 48th out of 50).

MTN launches second Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards

 

Mapula Bodibe, Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, and Mark Harris, Group CEO of Kagiso Media

MTN yesterday opened nominations for the second edition of the Women in ICT Awards in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb Brainstorm.

This initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the ICT sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the ICT sector. In doing so, this initiative hopes to attract girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition.

MTN is inviting the industry to nominate women working in the sector for the Awards in several categories. Nominations can be made at https://www.mtn.co.za/womeninict – nominations close on 4 August.

Nominees will be evaluated in the following categories:

Leadership Recognition Award: recognises senior female executives in the ICT sector whose proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams has impacted positively on the organisations they lead.

Innovator Recognition Award: recognises women who have introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.

SME Recognition Award: recognises wholly-owned, women-run enterprises that are viable businesses which are making inroads in the ICT sector, and will be extended to internal employees who also run businesses on the side, using ICT to enable their businesses.

Graduate Award (High Schools): recognises a top ICT graduate from a high school who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.  

Graduate Award (Tertiary): recognises a top ICT graduate from a tertiary institution who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.  

Community Builder Recognition Award: recognises a woman who has made a considerable difference in her community through ICT, or use of an ICT tool to make a difference in the community.

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): recognises a woman who has longstanding success in the ICT industry, has demonstrated a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, and has continually stayed ahead of the curve.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: this category seeks to recognise a journalist who has contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting.

CEO’s Award: this award recognises an MTN employee that has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and Technology.

Ministerial Recognition Award: this category gives the minister the opportunity to use their discretion to nominate a female ICT professional whose contribution has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to telecommunication services.

A new category has been introduced this year – The Public Choice Award. This category gives members of the public the opportunity to nominate an outstanding female professional in the ICT sector using an SMS platform. The dedicated SMS number will be unveiled in due course.

Speaking at the launch yesterday, Mapula Bodibe, Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, said that despite the strides being made by women professionals in ICT, a lot still needs to be done to increase the levels of women participation in the sector.

“The representation of and by women in the ICT is still negligible,” she commented. “Regardless of how bleak the statistics are, there are still pockets of remarkable women leaders in the ICT sector. I wish to appeal to these professionals to use their influence and positions to pave the way for other female professionals to thrive and prosper.”

 

Technology is not a boy’s club

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Women in technology garner a lot of attention, perhaps because they work in a sector known for its overwhelming male presence. This despite the fact that some of technology’s earliest pioneers were female, such as the inventor of programming, Ada Lovelace, or Hedy Lamarr, the film star and sex icon who also pioneered frequency hopping, used in mobile phones today.

 Technology is behind the curve. Though over half of professional occupations in the United States are held by women, a mere quarter of professional technology jobs can make the same claim. Some argue that women are simply poorly suited for technology, lacking the logic and mathematical savvy to compete against men. A few even assert that women are simply riskier. 

Disproving such generalisations is easy, but the stigma is harder to purge. To Patricia Florissi, VP & Global CTO of Sales at EMC and a technology polymath, this perception is more about a lack of representation: “If more opportunities were given to women, especially at senior levels, then you would be able to see more of a sample of female leadership that would change some of the biases. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy: the fewer women you have in leadership, the more biases you create, because you don’t have enough samples to create an accurate image of how women act and how successful they can be.”

Under-representation sabotages opportunities for women, says Florissi. But she doesn’t pin this on a misogynist culture. People think of those they know and consequently offer opportunities to whoever is front of mind. If an organisation is understaffed with women, odds are that women will not be considered as candidates merely due to a lack of visibility.

One could argue that gender should have nothing to do with it, that it is all about the best candidate. This is true, but Florissi warns of a larger danger if diversity is not part of a company’s outlook: “We need to treat women in technology as a real issue, because we’re talking about fifty percent of the population, about digital transformation that is suffering from a deficit in intellectual capital and yet we leave half of the population behind. This is a business imperative. Where you don’t have diversity, you don’t have cognitive diversity, so you are in a position of disadvantage. We can only solve that together.”

 The need for diverse, out-of-the-box thinkers has never been greater. Technology needs women: the problems and opportunities of the world cannot be tackled from just one vantage point. Creating diversity in gender and creed is what helps companies evolve and open new channels. Everyone has a role to play in making this shift happen. As Maya Angelou said: “Nothing will work unless you do.”

For more information about Diversity & Inclusion in EMC Southern Africa, feel free to contact Sonelia du Preez, Marketing Lead: Africa on email: sonelia.dpureez@emc.com, or visit:  www.southafrica.emc.com.

Lianne du Toit

Lianne du Toit, Silicon Cape, U-Start

Lianne du Toit, Silicon Cape, U-Start

Name: Lianne du Toit

Designation: U-Start Business Developer and Silicon Cape Events Liaison

Company: U-Start and Silicon Cape

What do you do every day? I am blessed as it changes daily, from meeting startups, assisting with tech events, liaising with partners and stakeholders, coding with the youth, speaking at events, creating content for sponsors, going to and planning networking events, to researching the industry and implementing our social media strategies. Every day is an awesome and fulfilling day.

How did you get into the tech space? By default, I am secretly a geek wannabe. Though it was my passion for creating engaging events for the community to meet and collaborate that got my foot in the door to the tech space. I was also inspired by a visit to the Google Campus in London a few years ago. It was there that I thought, imagine how cool it would be to have daily tech and startup event in Cape Town! Through Silicon Cape that vision is becoming a reality with the support of an engaged community.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Do what works for you; be the change you want to see in the world; expect less, give more and persistence and determination go a long way. Nothing is no until it is a flat out no.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go to networking functions, research trends, meet new people, give more than you receive, get a mentor in the sector and add value where you can – the break you need will find you.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My novel-thick to-do list.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.

Find me on:
Twitter: @Siliconcape, @barefoot_Binary, @govhackSA, @u-startconf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Siliconcape,  www.facebook.com/UStart1, https://www.facebook.com/lianne.dutoit?ref=tn_tnmn
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/lianne-du-toit/20/315/385/

Zimkhita Buwa

Zimkhita Buwa, Britehouse & SiliconCape

Zimkhita Buwa, Britehouse & SiliconCape

Name: Zimkhita Buwa

Designation: BI Manager & SAP Mentor

Company: Britehouse

What do you do every day? I help organisations to make sense of their data. Helping them find the gold in their mountain of data is rewarding. I am a true data geek who is also passionate about data visualisation!

I am a SiliconCape Exco Member heading up the Students & Careers Portfolio. I am passionate about helping other women and am a founding member of the STEM-IT-Forward non-profit with five amazing women. STEM-IT-forward aims to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers to young girls.

How did you get into the tech space? My brother and I are two years apart and we were always competitive. He chose Information Technology as his major and came back home flaunting his new found programming skill. Of course, not to be outdone, I also decided to register for a tech-related course to prove that whatever he could do, I could do. Needless to say what started out as a competition is now not only my bread and butter but my passion.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Last year I had the honour of being part of the Techwomen Programme where 78 amazing women from Africa and the Middle East were selected to spend six weeks in Silicon Valley being mentored by other women at various big tech companies. We were allocated two mentors, a cultural mentor and professional mentor. The best advice came from these two amazing women. Barbara Williams, my cultural mentor, said, “Do it afraid” and my professional mentor, Tanya Kobyluk, used to tell me often: “Believe in yourself, believe that you are amazing”. I miss my two pillars!

Another piece of advice came while watching Oprah interview LLCoolJ, he said, “Dreams don’t have deadlines”.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? I would tell them to find themselves a mentor who can assist them with their journey. A lot of us thought we have to do it on our own. Find someone who is already in the tech sector, even if they seem inaccessible, ask….learn from them. Did I mention ask….yes! Ask as many questions as possible – you will see it won’t be as daunting and it will save you a lot of time and save you from making unnecessary mistakes!

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My family, my little nugget (4-year old boy) who thinks I’m a Ninja Turtle, making a difference in my professional capacity and also helping other young people realise their potential.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A combination of my sister and my mother. My sister because of her strength, confidence and sheer determination to be the best she can possibly be. My mother because of her compassion and her ability to be a mother to anyone who crosses her path!

Find me on:
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/zimkhita-buwa/27/609/603/
Twitter: @zimbuwa
Blogs: https://storify.com/zimbuwa, http://www.siliconcape.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2nc72vfv4u5hp