The Future of Women in ICT

The future of the ICT (information and communications technology) sector looks exciting. It has opened unknown horizons. More women are going into this field, than ever before, and you can find female representation at all levels of the industry, making it a great time to be a woman in ICT.

But stereotypes still discourage many women from choosing the software development industry, for example, only 10% to 20% of programming jobs are held by women.

Historically, women have had limited access to science and technology education. Today, some obstacles blocking women from entering ICT are:

  • The lack of role models, mentoring and networking opportunities
  • The working hours and work-life balance
  • Organisational culture
  • Gender discrimination and stereotypes

Therefore, we must promote women in tech, and several associations exist to focus on this objective.

Communities like the IEEE WIE (Women in Engineering), WES (Women’s Engineering Society) and SWE (Society of Women Engineers) aim to advance women to fit into the notions of science and technology because women have been involved in incredible technical developments for generations.

Many women in the world of information technology and the web, have excelled in their skills and inventions, and have played an important role in the creation of the computer tools that we know today.

Some of BET Software’s trainees in the graduate programme shared their thoughts on why representation in the tech space matters.

Although Nonjabulo Mtembu learnt how to use a computer in primary school, she had no real IT experience until she started university. When she arrived at DUT, she jumped right into her course, thinking to herself, “I will change this course when one year is up.”

But little did she know that she would fall in love with information and communications technology (ICT) and develop a strong interest in it. And that is how she chose this career.

She says, “I believe that ICT is important because it pervades all aspects of life, enabling people to interact, network, seek assistance, access information, and learn in new, better, and faster ways. No matter how technology evolves, this field will always be relevant and will need more people as technology advances.”

Mbalenhle Bayeni acknowledges we need more women in tech. “Women provide a more balanced view of this sector. We see things differently and bring unique ideas to the table. This enables us to be better problem-solvers, which can boost performance at business unit levels,” she says.

Her dream is to one day own a technology institution, where children can learn about technology at a young age, and start developing their tech skills early. “I am always thinking about my next step, and how to move forward towards achieving my dreams,” she explains.

For Samukelisiwe Zulu, being in the tech space has taught her the importance of adaptation – this means being able to adapt to change, having the willingness to grow, and being knowledgeable about the existence of new technologies.

During her time at BET Software, she says she has learnt a great deal about the software development industry.  “I have learnt the different types of departments that exist within the Software Development Life Cycle in the industry, and how these departments are intertwined or work with each other to bring about projects and new products to life,” Zulu explains.

As we see more women involved in start-up companies as IT engineers or developers, and even fulfilling higher-level or top management positions, it proves that women are harnessing the power of technology.

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