Greater Diversity Will Positively Redefine The Industry
Although there are many reasons for the lack of equal gender representation in the IT industry, there are two commonly mentioned ones.
Liziwe Maseko – Executive for Digital Development, BCX
Maseko points out that she was drawn to the sector through her fascination with the power that computers have. It’s an arena that never gets stale, where there are always new developments and where the constant evolution of technology continuously offers new options. “For my part, it was also about becoming a success as a way of proving people wrong about women and IT. As for those women who have already achieved success in the industry, it is very important for us to act as mentors and role models for those who follow. This is vital, because it is always easier to picture yourself being promoted to a senior role if you can see someone else like you already at that level.”
“In my career, I have had both male and female mentors, and you learn plenty from each. In fact, I think if we could have more women mentoring young men coming into the industry, we would more easily be able to change the patriarchal mindset that seems too common by far in SA.”
She points out that women bring a range of critical skills to the table that can be enormously beneficial to a business. For one thing, women tend to be more emotionally aware of surroundings and think collectively and collaboratively, so a key strength lies in diffusing conflicts – which ultimately leads to better, more inclusive solutions.
“Fostering a sense of belonging for every-one will lead to greater diversity, and the greater the number of different views you can obtain relating to a specific challenge, the more chance you have of solving it. Moreover, we need to be able to discuss uncomfortable things without getting defensive about them, which is where the collaborative approach comes in.
I believe it’s time for inclusive leadership – we stand at a key inflection point in history, more aware than ever of previous disparities, making this the perfect time for women to make their mark here. Also, this is an industry that touches every facet of the economy and is ingrained in the lives of every citizen. Therefore, if you want to have a genuine impact on society, the IT industry is the ideal place to be,” she concludes.
Editorial credit: IT Web / Brainstorm
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