The Women of IoT.nxt

Woman’s Day is about far more than the incredible women of IoT.nxt. It’s about ensuring they’re heard, respected, represented and rewarded so they feel empowered to pave the way for the women of tomorrow. Here’s how they’re paying it forward.

Lebogang Martins | Senior Project Manager

Considering that, globally, women are underrepresented in this sector, why did you choose a career in technology?

I love maths and the challenge it brings to solving complex situations (‘thinking out of the box; ). I am results-driven and to me, the technology space provides the ability to solve complex problems by bringing together people of different backgrounds, knowledge, and skills to achieve a common goal.

Name the woman in tech you most admire and tell us why.

Katherine Johnson: She figured out the paths for the spacecraft to orbit (go around) Earth and to land on the Moon. How amazing is that! Her math helped send astronauts to the Moon and back. NASA could not have done these things without Katherine Johnson and her love for math!

Research shows that companies with strong gender diversity – women in the company and in leadership positions – actually perform better than companies where women are underrepresented. What do you think women bring to the work environment that makes companies more successful?

We bring grace and compassion, when faced with difficult situations we don’t let egos stand in the way, we approach all challenges and situation with a sound mind and seek understanding before we make decisions or act

Cristina Harverson | Solution Architect (snr)

Cristina Haverson

Considering that, globally, women are underrepresented in this sector, why did you choose a career in technology?
I actually chose a career in Chemical Engineering as my father was in engineering and it appealed. I knew there were few women in this field but this didn’t act as a deterrent. If anything it made me more determined to succeed. After graduating, I spent a number of years working as a Process Engineer in the Petrochemical and Pulp and Paper industries. A large portion of the job was using data and technology to optimise physical processes. On realising that I enjoyed the technology aspect more than the fieldwork, I transitioned into industrial automation, information management and eventually the Internet of Things.

Name the woman in tech you most admire and tell us why.
I cannot say that I admire one particular woman in tech. What I do try to emulate is the practices and coping mechanisms of all women who are able to succeed whilst maintaining a healthy work/life balance. The holy grail in my eyes.

Research shows that companies with strong gender diversity – women in the company and in leadership positions – actually perform better than companies where women are underrepresented. What do you think women bring to the work environment that makes companies more successful?
I believe that women bring more empathy, compassion as well as good listening skills into the workplace. For me, this is key in developing strong and motivated teams.

Sunette Ras | Head of Partner Enablement

Considering that, globally, women are underrepresented in this sector, why did you choose a career in technology?

  • It’s the fastest-changing industry – Jobs are always evolving, which gives bigger opportunities to individuals.
  • The work is meaningful – Technology includes solving problems, that gives me the opportunity to make a difference.
  • The work is more flexible – No more do all people in tech need to be working from the office, they can simply contribute just as well to their role by working from home. Women are able to balance their work and home life effectively while not curbing their career

Name the woman in tech you most admire and tell us why.

  • Maureen Grosvenor (Director – Head of Custom Applications – APPSolve (Pty) Ltd)
  • Maureen look for opportunities in industries where she can use tech to help solve their problems and streamline the business
  • She believes that you teach people how to treat you
  • Love her focus in life “Trying to make a difference, a little at a time”
  • She also believes that it is important for women to lift each other up in this new digital era

Research shows that companies with strong gender diversity – women in the company and in leadership positions – actually perform better than companies where women are underrepresented. What do you think women bring to the work environment that makes companies more successful?

  • A bigger boost to growth: Because women bring new skills to the workplace, the productivity and growth gains from adding women to the labour force are larger than previously thought
  • More job satisfaction
  • More organizational dedication
  • More meaningful work, and Less burnout
  • Working women have higher self-esteem, are stronger emotionally and financially and are excellent mothers

 

Yaki Naude | Creative Director

Yaki Naude

Considering that, globally, women are underrepresented in this sector, why did you choose a career in technology?

It was while employed as a freelance graphic designer at a Johannesburg-based advertising agency that I was first introduced to the world of IoT. In 2016 the Internet of Things was still in its infancy and I remember appreciating the depth of the challenge of selling such a seemingly complex and (then) almost ambiguous concept. This experience in the IoT field, however, made me an excellent fit for IoT.nxt. So, I guess it would be safe to say that IoT chose me! It does feel like I have found my niche, however, and I am thankful that my personal bold and funky design style serves the industry well.

Name the woman in tech you most admire and tell us why.

Without a doubt Dr Adriana Marais, who was shortlisted to go to Mars! I was fortunate enough to meet her in person at an IoT.nxt event earlier this year and she embodies everything that I strive to be. She is electrifyingly ambitious, while simultaneously surfer-girl cool & calm. She is unapologetically clever, clearly bringing great value to the world of tech, and this has taught me that to boldly bring my own braininess and creativity to the table.

Research shows that companies with strong gender diversity – women in the company and in leadership positions – actually perform better than companies where women are underrepresented. What do think women bring to the work environment that makes companies more successful?

In general, women get things done. Women make lists and pragmatically tick them off. With our natural mothering instincts (whether we are mothers or not), we can collectively multitask. We are firm yet kind. Woman bring a softness to the harsh world of business; we are the ultimate workplace experience! Can you tell I’m a fan?

Tlotlego Lefoka | Electronics Engineer

Totlego

Considering that, globally, women are underrepresented in this sector, why did you choose a career in technology?

Growing up, I read a book called “Fix it” that instilled in me the interest to fix appliances and electronic gadgets. My aspiration was to be a prominent Interior Designer or an architect, but when the time came for me to choose a faculty in varsity, I chose ICT. Male dominant environments and or activities usually engage me, because I believe that the human ability and IQ cannot be reduced to gender. Whatever I put my mind to, I will do it. Information Technology is constant in being a rapidly evolving field and promising a wide range of opportunities. I love that it keeps me on my toes, and by close of business each day, I have learned something new. I am a qualified Computer Systems Engineer, which has afforded me the boundless readiness in (but not limited to) Software Development, Electronics and Networking.

Name the woman in tech you most admire and tell us why.

Baratang Miya, shared founder and CEO at GirlHype Coders. She is a firm believer in promoting female education, technical skills that are now required in the tech industry. Considering that women globally are underrepresented in this sector, she created a platform for females to become “Fix it”, innovative people. I admire what she embodies because I believe that everyone must become “Bob the Builder” and become committed to empowering the disadvantaged – that is solid leadership.

Research shows that companies with strong gender diversity – women in the company and in leadership positions – actually perform better than companies where women are underrepresented. What do think women bring to the work environment that makes companies more successful?

Women bring a persuasive argument for diversity and equality in the tech environment, also higher collective intelligence which will change the country’s economy.

Stay tuned for more features on the Women of IoT.nxt.