This National Women's Month, we're shining a light on the fabulous females in tech who are disrupting the industry and driving innovation forward, despite still being a minority.
History proves that the first computers weren’t machines and the first programmers weren’t men. But despite the advancements the Ada Lovelaces and Annie Easleys of the world made decades ago, gender diversity in the technology industry is still a challenge.
According to a recent study, only 23%* of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa. However, that’s not to say there aren’t a handful of note-worthy females holding the torch high for those who want to follow in their footsteps.
Here, we round them up:
“Instead of being intimidated by the dominance of men in the tech sector, women should see it as an ideal opportunity to bring a unique set of strengths and skills to the market”
Mallinson has been hailed as one of the founders of the local social e-learning platform used by schools and organisations in Africa, Europe and America. Founded in 2007, Obami is shaping the future generations by connecting them to teachers, learners, NGOs and government – all while enabling them share educational resources and assess them based on their performance.
“Innovation is simply finding better ways to do things. Don't stress about tech, use what you have to improve lives – that is real innovation”
The Kenyan native is one of the most popular female tech leaders in Africa and is using the industry as a catalyst to ignite social change in the country. By educating the youth through technology, she believes she can increase the quality of life in Kenya and therefore change the world. It’s this that drove her to create JuaKali – an online and mobile directory for Kenya’s skilled blue-collar workers – as well as Akirachix, a company that nurtures generations of women who use technology to develop innovations and solutions for Africa.
“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy, to be told instead she has leadership skills”
If you Google her name, she comes up as one of the most powerful women in the world. Snapping her up from a position at Google in 2007, Mark Zuckerberg appointed Sandberg as his COO off the bat. Her book about grief and the loss of her husband, Option B, topped the bestseller list and inspired the masses – as did Lean In that’s aimed at women in the workplace. Sandberg is also behind Facebook’s war on Fake News, pushing hard to head off increased regulations on social media companies.
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room!”
Driven by her passion of building and leading innovative and sustainable businesses, Muller is at the forefront of the South African tech sphere. She owns DotNxt – a Cape Ton-based company that creates, develops and delivers software, mobile, social and other digital development projects for local companies. Muller is also a coveted speaker and digital change agent, where she aims to inspire people and companies all around the world to bring a different type of edge to their business.
“Take time to talk to young people in school and in other programs so the students can understand what entrepreneurship is and begin to consider it as a career path”
Incepted by Amuzu in 2010, Nandimobile, develops software that helps companies deliver customer support and information services through SMS. As a graduate of Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, Amuzu is a firm believer in uplifting tech entrepreneurs in Africa by being a role model and educating scholars on how it’s done.
*Source: Women in Tech ZA