Gender-based violence has always been the 'first pandemic' for Vodacom

When President Cyril Ramaphosa called gender-based violence (GBV) the 'second pandemic' in South Africa, the simmering issue was finally acknowledged as a national crisis. However, for Vodacom, GBV has always been the 'first pandemic' and the company has not just spoken out about it during Women's Month, or the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, but at every opportunity.

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How This African Soccer Team is Helping More Women to Code

"Mbali Hlongwane, founder of Pink Codrs Africa, found a novel ally in her fight to get more African women coding and into STEM careers: South African soccer team, Kaizer Chiefs Football Club.

According to Hlongwane, Pink Codrs Africa, an organisation of female software developers, grew out of a series of networking events for female software developers aims to build a strong network of female software developers in South Africa, bringing together industry software developers, women in technology businesses and STEM students."


10 Tips for Motivating, Inspiring and Preparing Girls to Pursue STEM

"As America advances into the 21st century and industry becomes increasingly dependent on advanced technology, jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are going to become increasingly important and in demand. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment in occupations related to STEM is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, an increase of 1 million jobs over 2012 employment levels.

Ironically, job opportunities in some STEM fields may swell beyond those projections because of the COVID-19 crisis. Although millions have been furloughed or laid off because of this health crisis, the pandemic seems to be opening new job opportunities in some areas of STEM."

Read more in Dallas News

The World Needs More Women in the Tech Space

"This Women’s Month, it is apt to consider the position of women in the ICT industry, and what that means for the world. The truth is that women remain deeply underrepresented, and our society is the poorer for it.The technology space is essentially about innovation: creating and developing new solutions to improve people’s lives. We will only be able to do this optimally when women are intimately involved in the innovation process."

Read more on IT Web

Womandla Launches Inaugural Women in STEM Awards

"Hosted by Womandla, nominations are open for the first Women in STEM Awards set for 17 August in Cape Town. The not-for-profit, which aims to celebrate and empower women in Africa and around the globe through digital media, will be honouring South Africa's most inspirational female role models through the awards."

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Takalani Netshitenzhe on connecting ICT to education

A renewed focus on ECDs is possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment and inequality. In this respect, Vodacom, as a long-standing partner of government, has pioneered a multifaceted model that looks at ECDs, high schools and incorporates parents and local communities to significantly transform our education system.

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Diversity is About Appreciating the Female Voice and Hearing it

"According to UNESCO Statistics, women make up only 23% of STEM talent globally, and this inequality is mirrored in South Africa's science, technology and engineering industries. To unpack this topic further we chatted to Nicol Meyer, country head at specialty chemicals company Clariant South Africa, to explore why this imbalance persists, how we can drive greater gender parity in STEM-based industries, and any advice she has for women currently pursuing a career in STEM."

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Mastercard Offers Free Online STEM Lessons

"Mastercard extended access to its signature STEM curriculum, Girls4Tech, through a suite of new online, creative educational resources. The programme has been designed to help parents and teachers engage and inspire kids, ages eight to 12. Through the newly launched website Girls4Tech Connect, as well as through activities made in collaboration with Mastercard’s education partner Scholastic, teachers and parents can download lessons to help students learn about STEM topics, from the comfort of their homes. These activities are built on global science and maths standards – and incorporate Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation – to enable children to discover a range of STEM careers, such as fraud detective, data scientist and software engineer."

OPINION: Mind the (Gender) Gap in STEM Fields

"Promoting the participation of women and girls in science means changing mindsets, fighting gender biases and stereotypes which limit the expectations and professional goals girls have (from early childhood), writes Tashnica Sylvester

Gender equality and our society's views on girls and women have weighed heavily on the minds of South Africans these past few months. The value our culture places on females and our attitudes towards women has been challenged. This re-evaluation of our dedication and commitment to the empowerment of girls and women also extends to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (According to a 2018 report of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), women in STEM represent less than 30% of researcher globally. This shows that there’s a need for urgent attention and huge investments in women to pursue studies in and make contribution to STEM fields. "

Read more on News24

Vodacom Kicks Off 2019 Code Like a Girl Project in KZN

"This Youth Month, Vodacom KwaZulu Natal will offer 70 school-going female learners from the province the opportunity to learn how to code during the winter school holidays, from 24 June – 05 July 2019.

This investment by Vodacom in digital skills training programmes for young women will help to narrow the gender digital divide at an early age in South Africa.Female participation is falling in a field that is expanding globally and men still dominate the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates in most countries, these were some of the concerns expressed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recently.

The situation is dire in South Africa as a few years ago the Engineering Council of South Africa put the total number of women engineers registered with the body to 11 percent. "

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Driving Gender Equity in African Scientific Institutions

"Women scientists have a vital part to play in scientific leadership and in contributing to Africa's development and transformation, but they remain substantially under-represented in higher education and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Women account for 53% of the world's bachelor's and master's degree graduates and 43% of PhD graduates, but only 28% of researchers in all fields. Only 30% of women in higher education move into STEM-related fields. Similarly, in sub-Saharan Africa, only 30% of researchers in all subject areas are women. For example, in Cameroon, enrolment in tertiary education was estimated at 20% for men and 15% for women in 2017, and women constituted only 22% of Cameroonian researchers and only 7% of academics at the rank of full professor. Between 2011 and 2013, there was an increase in the percentage of women researchers in South Africa (43·7%), Egypt (42·8%), Morocco (30·2%), Senegal (24·9%), Nigeria (23·3%), Rwanda (21·8%), Cameroon (21·8%), and Ethiopia (13·3%). However, there is an attrition in the number of women along the career trajectory in scientific research. Gender disparities persist in the scientific workforce, generally concentrating female scientists in the lower echelons of responsibility and decision making with limited leadership opportunities. This situation limits the diverse perspectives that ensure robust scientific agendas and allow women's contributions and advancement."

Read more in The Lancet



Bridging the New Digital Gap Women and ICT in South Africa

By Tashline Jooste, Chief Executive Officer of the Innovator Trust

"Through personal experiences, I realised that the youth require the skills of computer literacy to thrive as a citizen of a digital era. However, there is a generation in South Africa who have not had the privilege of access to technology, don’t know how computers work, and don’t fully grasp technology’s significant impact on today’s society.

With the exciting emergence of the digital age, the ICT sector holds many opportunities for young entrepreneurs to build successful future SMMEs. However, being an entrepreneur (and, in particular, being a young, black, female entrepreneur) in South Africa is not without its challenges.

South Africa is currently facing severe economic conditions and a massive unemployment issue, with the unemployment rate among young South Africans under the age of 25 sitting at a frightening 67.4%. And, simply put, we as a country are not providing enough infrastructure support and skills development for black-owned SMMEs."

Read more on The Innovator Trust

16 Nudges for More #WomenInTech

"Globally, for each US dollar earned by men, women earn approximately 50 cents. In South Africa, women earn 60 cents for each rand earned by men. The lack of female representation in the workforce and especially in leadership positions is another barrier to gender equality. In South Africa, for every ten men, only eight women are employed or actively looking for work, although women make up more than half of the working-age population. But expediting gender equality at work pays dividends.

According to PwC estimations, closing the pay gap across OECD countries could increase total female earnings by US$2 trillion, an increase of 23%.7 Furthermore, the economic benefits of increasing female employment rates across the OECD countries to match Sweden’s rate of 61% could be over US$6 trillion in the long run, an increase of 12%.8 We estimate sizeable economic benefits if we close the gender gap in South Africa in both pay and representation by just 10%. Our calculations suggest economic growth spin-offs of additional 3.2% in GDP growth and a 6.5% reduction in the number of unemployed job seekers."

Read more in this report by PWC via BizCommunity

Moves are Afoot in Africa to Keep More Women in Science Careers

"Women scientists have a vital part to play in scientific leadership and in contributing to Africa’s development and transformation. But they remain substantially under-represented in higher education and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This is because women are generally seen and treated by society as being inferior and less capable than men. This then spills over into their educational and professional lives.

This is a global issue. Women account for 53% of the world’s bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates and 43% of PhD graduates. But they make up only 28% of researchers in all fields. And, only 30% of women in higher education move into STEM-related fields.

The situation is no different in sub-Saharan Africa; in fact, in some countries in the region it’s worse. Only 30% of sub-Saharan researchers in all subject areas are women."

Read more in The Conversation