It seems fitting to launch this blog by profiling one of the legends of the local ICT sector. Joan has been involved in the sector for years, working for various companies in the US and South Africa, including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo Bank and Standard Oil of California.
In 1977 she launched her own company, Joffe Associates, which was the first organisation in South Africa to import, sell and service the IBM PC. She took the company national, and sold it 10 years later.
She then spent 10 years at Vodacom where she filled the roles of GM Marketing, and Group Executive Corporate Affairs and Communications, and Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation. She retired from Vodacom at the end of 2003.
She is a founding member of broad-based women’s empowerment group, Nozala Investments. She served on the board of IT company, Datacentrix Ltd and was a board member of several non-profit organisations including the Freeplay Foundation, Women and Men Against Child Abuse; and Readucate.
She is a former Businesswoman of the Year and a recipient of the Wits University Lifetime Award for Entrepreneurship. She is a Fellow of the Computer Society of South Africa and a winner of the organisation’s Fellowship Award for 2004.
She currently consults to companies in the ICT sector and represents several offshore technology companies.
Thank you, Joan, for being an inspiration and a role model, and for agreeing to be profiled here. 🙂
Name: Joan Joffe
Company: Joffe Associates
What do you do every day? Surf the web, evaluate tech opportunities that come my way, mentor others.
How did you get into the tech space? By chance – I met someone who invited me to interview for a position as a programmer at a computer company. I got the job and that set the direction for the rest of my life and I abandoned my plans to become a lawyer.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? There are no limits to anything except those that you set for yourself.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go for it! Start at the bottom if necessary and don’t ever think you see a glass ceiling because there isn’t one.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Life’s challenges and opportunities.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? Exactly what I am right now!
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