09 March 2021

    Celeste Jacobs

    Spotlight on: women in tech

    These pioneers are paving the way for Africa – take a look at their contributions to the field and how their passion for technology is shifting the future for our continent.

    Closing global gaps in gender inequality is essential on a social and economic level. A recent report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) indicated that higher levels of female participation in business across the OECD could lead to a US$6 trillion increase in the GDP.

    These women are a few of the many who are changing the tech landscape in Africa and the world.

    Mimi Omokri

    The Head of Business Development for Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region experiencing a boom in growth, boasts a wide-ranging career. She’s set to represent South Africa at the global Women in Technology conference in June – held virtually this year.

    Bathabile Mpofu

    The founder of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences realised how important it is to apply science in a practical way while completing her undergraduate degree. She saw the need for children to access a portable science kit, particularly in areas where resources are low. Her ChemStart Kit does exactly that – opening doors, one experiment at a time.

    Prudence Seya

    Now more than ever, virtual classrooms are first prize. Ages ago Seya realised that in her homeland of Côte d’Ivoire this was true – particularly where access to education and coaching was limited. She started Web Training Academy – an e-learning platform that helps entrepreneurs upskill themselves through coaching, digital marketing, e-commerce, personal development and so much more.

    Maneo Mapharisa

    The Lesotho-based co-founder of Girls Coding Academy is opening doors for girls in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Mapharisa and her seven co-founders are highly aware that women are often underrepresented in these fields – in Lesotho and globally – and their business aims to restore that balance by creating opportunities for girls to gain exposure to and nurture a love for STEM from a young age.

    Upskilling children in STEM is essential – particularly because we’re focused on increasing the number of women in the talent pool in years to come. In light of the looming Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s important to redress the workplace imbalance. According to PwC in South Africa, the ratios of women to men graduating in STEM-related fields is 3:4 in mathematics and statistics, 2:5 in information and communication technology, and 1:4 in engineering and construction.

    Beyond the economic benefit of equality, on a social level it’s important for girls to see examples of women who set the pace in fields ordinarily dominated by men. In this way, it’s easier for them to see themselves in those roles and to dream about their future without limitations or the idea that glass ceilings exist.

    The Tech Talk with Vodacom Podcast 

    Listen to more inspiring women featured on the Tech Talk with Vodacom podcast.

    Atenkosi Ngubevana, Group Executive: Digital Process Re-engineering at Vodacom, about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). She’s one of the female powerhouses in tech here in South Africa, and in this episode she unpacks exactly what we mean when we talk about AI. Listen to this latest episode here.

    Oratile Maphumulo is a Manager in Core Data Network Planning in Technology at Vodacom Business. Among her many responsibilities is training the Vodacom CodeLikeAGirl initiative, where school girls from around the country are taught how to build their own website with HTML, CMS and Java. Listen to the episode here.

    Pippa Tshabalala, veteran of South African gaming and online culture, about the responsibilities parents have with their children’s gaming habits. We also look at some of the surprising benefits video games can have on childhood development. Listen to the episode here.

    Jenny Pather, Executive Head of Trading Bridge at Vodacom Financial Services and is deeply invested in the world of technology, especially in its ability to streamline our daily activities. Listen to the episode here.


    Celeste Jacobs