Allison Ross

October 17, 2014 in Marketing, Profiles
Allison Ross, Allison Ross Consulting

Allison Ross, Allison Ross Consulting

Name: Allison Ross

Designation: Owner/Marketer

Company: Allison Ross Consulting

What do you do every day? I’m learning that the first hour of the day is the most important as it determines the tone of the entire day, so I’ve been dedicating my first hour to reflection, gratitude and calm. Not always possible but I try! Then I tackle my to-do list.

As a marketer, my to-do list consists of strategy development, blogging, web design, graphic design, and social media management for myself and my clients.

How did you get into the tech space? Quite by chance. I started my working career as an assistant to the stock planner of a large retail corporation. Years later, the company I was employed at needed a Systems Analyst but they couldn’t afford one, so they decided to take someone from the business who understood retail processes and have them learn everything about IT. I was the privileged one! This training provided me with a holistic view of what the IT industry was and the role I wanted to play in it going forward.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? That everything happens exactly as it should, even when it doesn’t seem that way at the time. When I look back on my life from this perspective, even the situations that seemed like disasters at the time provided insights that changed my life for the positive. Knowing this, I’m able to take life less seriously and look for blessings in every situation.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Technology is everywhere so when you choose a career in the tech sector, you can combine your passions in unlimited ways. If you’re passionate about technology and you’re as passionate about, for example, Arts & Culture, you can choose a career that uses technology within Arts & Culture. No matter what your passions, hobbies or causes, as a woman in technology there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from creating your dream job and your dream life. You can choose to change the world from the comfort of your home or you can choose to travel the world as you change it.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Knowing that each day is a fresh opportunity to create the life I want.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Wiser. So that I’m always able to share with others what I wish I knew when I was a young woman in business.

Find me on:
Twitter: @colossally
LinkedIn profile:
Facebook business:
Facebook personal:

Helga Pearson

August 6, 2014 in Digital, Marketing, Profiles
Helga Pearson, Geek Girls SA

Helga Pearson, Geek Girls SA

Name: Helga Pearson

Designation: Marketing Consultant/Content Developer/Social Media Manager

Company: Redbrick Online (Online Business Developer)

What do you do every day? The list of what I DON’T do every day would be much shorter! This is a common occurrence with nearly all tech start-up companies. First employees tend to be generalists. With any new brands that we develop for the online market, I am involved in the initial strategic planning and development as well as the content creation and subsequent marketing.

This year with I have also taken up the role of social media manager, which has been challenging but also really exciting!

In a social capacity I’m also the founder of Geek Girls SA. I just felt there wasn’t any local organisation in South Africa that represented woman who are passionate about all things geeky – tech, sci-fi, fantasy and gaming. My heroes are Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, individuals who have turned being quirky and different into a movement and thriving community. That’s my vision for Geek Girls SA – let’s build a South African community online and in real life with women who aren’t afraid to be smart and who are proud of their geeky fandoms and hobbies.

How did you get into the tech space? I started my career in advertising at TBWA Hunt Lascaris and took a break for a few years to raise my son, Ethan. I’m actually surprised I didn’t venture into tech and online marketing sooner as I have always been a bit of a nerdy web addict.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one.” Okay, it’s a Doctor Who quote (I told you I’m a geek) but it’s also brilliant life advice! You only get one chance to live this particular life, so make it the best story ever!

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? We are living in an adventurous time in the digital landscape of South Africa. The horizons are rolling out before us and we get to choose how to shape and create them as we go. Now is the time to plant your flag and start building.

Be an online entrepreneur; come up with a solution to a problem; design an app; work for a digital agency and gain some experience – There are so many avenues currently available to join up with the information super highway right now, just pick one and go for it!

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I’m a natural enthusiast; I find something to get motivated about in nearly everything. Working for a digital start-up is the best place to be for me because there is something new to tackle or something new to learn all the time.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? The Mother of Dragons… Ha! No wait, I never really want to grow up so that’s a trick question. 🙂

Find me on:
Twitter: @HelgaTheGeek


Barbs Mallinson

July 21, 2014 in Digital, Founder, Profiles

Barbs MallinsonName: Barbara Mallinson

Designation: Founder & CEO 

Company: Obami

What do you do every day? A mix of things… I catch up with my team, do some business development and product development, strategise, create content, dabble in marketing, travel, speak, network – whatever’s needed for that day – all fuelled by too many cups of coffee.

How did you get into the tech space? I started my own tech company because of a strong distaste for corporate life, coupled with a sense that the Internet was only going to get bigger and better.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? If it’s not scary, it’s not worth doing!

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go for it… be prepared to shed a bit of blood, sweat and tears – the more you do, the luckier you’ll get.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? Knowing that Obami is doing some pretty cool stuff… at a pretty cool time in African history.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?  I’d like to be my same ol’ self, but hopefully wiser in many ways.

Find me on:
Twitter – @barbsmall
LinkedIn –
Obami –