South Africa’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country. It is becoming increasingly important to the economy. Unfortunately, the industry is still largely dominated by men and women are underrepresented in ICT roles. This is a worrying trend, as it could potentially perpetuate the gender inequality that exists in the industry.
Recent studies have revealed that the number of women in ICT in South Africa is alarmingly low. According to a report from the South African Institute of Race Relations, only seven percent of ICT professionals in the country are women.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the South African Institute for ICT Professionals (SAIICT) found that women make up only one in four ICT professionals in South Africa. This is significantly lower than the global average, which stands at one in three.
The low numbers of women in ICT in SA are cause for concern, as the industry is growing rapidly and is projected to create over 1 million jobs in the coming years. Women are being left behind in the ICT revolution, which will have a significant impact on the economy.
However, there is cause for optimism as more organizations are beginning to recognize the value of having a diverse workforce and are actively working to promote women in ICT. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of initiatives, such as hackathons, coding boot camps, and internships, that are specifically designed to encourage and support women in the industry.
Companies that are Advancing Gender Equity in Technology
An example of this is the Women in Tech South Africa (WITSA) initiative, which was started in 2012. This network of female tech professionals provides mentorship and networking opportunities for women in ICT, as well as organizing events and workshops to promote the development of female tech leaders.
In addition, there are many organizations and initiatives that are helping to increase the number of women in ICT by providing educational and financial support to those who need it. These include the South African Women in Technology (SAWIT) and the South African Women in ICT (SAWICT), both of which offer free courses and mentorship programs to help women gain the skills and resources they need to succeed in the industry.
Finally, there are a number of government initiatives that are working to promote women in ICT. The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) launched the Women in ICT program in 2017. This program aims to provide women with access to training, mentorship, and employment opportunities in the ICT sector.
South Africa is home to many successful women in ICT. They are leading the way in the industry, proving that women can make a difference in tech.
We’ll be highlighting five remarkable women who have made an impact in ICT in South Africa.
- Nonhlanhla Joye is the CEO of the South African Women in Technology (SAWIT), an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in ICT in South Africa. She works to provide opportunities and support to women in the industry.
- Thandi Ndlovu is the founder and CEO of Girls in ICT South Africa, an organization that provides a platform and support for girls and young women to pursue careers in ICT and become successful entrepreneurs. She is dedicated to helping young women reach their full potential in tech.
- Thandi Mpambo-Mpanzu is the Managing Director of Accenture South Africa. She is responsible for leading the transformation of Accenture’s business in the country and has been a strong advocate for the role of women in ICT.
- Lehlohonolo Sehloho is the Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa. She has been an advocate for the role of women in ICT.
- Zimkhitha Malinga, the Managing Director of Oracle South Africa. She is committed to driving the success of Oracle in South Africa and is also dedicated to promoting the role of women in ICT.
These remarkable women are all making a difference in ICT in South Africa and these are just naming a few. They are leading the way in the industry and proving that women can be successful and make an impact in tech. We applaud their efforts and hope that they will continue to inspire and motivate other women to pursue careers in ICT. Overall, there is still a long way to go in terms of promoting gender equality and diversity in the ICT industry in South Africa. However, with the increasing number of initiatives and organizations dedicated to supporting women in ICT, it is clear that progress is being made and that more women are gaining the skills and resources they need to succeed in the industry.