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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.

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.

Riette Davies | Head of Talent Acquisition

Riette Davies

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

Funny you should ask this – all my “Career Indicating” tests said the one field I should stay away from was…IT. So, I chose something that did not involve Tech and then IoT.nxt found me. As the Head of Talent Acquisition, I now have the privilege of finding ways for women to be exposed to Tech and showing them that there is a place and a future for them in this field. With our numerous agreements with Tertiary Institutions, we now have access to women to educate and draw them into this exciting and fast-paced world of Tech.

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

I admire every single woman that has made an impact in this industry but I must give a special mention to Lillian Barnard, Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa. As women are still very unrepresented in this field, I hope that those pioneering females that are already in this field will use their positions & influence in the work environment to mentor, inspire & encourage the next generation of women. May those of us already in this field become the shoulders for those still to come, to stand upon and to do greater and better things.

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?

Think about this for a moment – women are entrusted to birth the next generation and raise them. That is a huge responsibility to carry. I have seen mothers with children and thought: “Wow, if you can raise that, you must be a force in the workplace,” and I have seen work environments and thought: “Wow if you can survive here, raising kids must feel like playtime to you”. The bottom line is, women are strong, yet gentle. Women have the ability to bring people together, to listen to them and to make everyone feel important and valued.

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

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