South African Government Responds to Gender Gap in ICT Employment

Image source: http://images.itweb.co.za/sections/pictures/2012/Hlengiwe_Mkhize.jpg

Image source: http://images.itweb.co.za/sections/pictures/2012/Hlengiwe_Mkhize.jpg

Hlengiwe Mkhize, deputy minister of telecommunications and postal services in South Africa, recently pioneered the government’s new gender and ICT strategy.

Only 20% of ICT employees in South Africa are women, compared to the 56% global average. Black women are particularly absent from the industry, given the lack of business resources and clients available to them. Stereotyping remains a key concern for securing clients for women.

A consultation found that digital literacy training is a key step to improving women’s participation in the tech industry, particularly to make sure female-owned SMMEs thrive. The strategy seeks to incorporate such training alongside leadership programs to help women enter higher-level decision-making roles.

The country’s 2020 strategic goals now aim for 90% broadband access by 2020, as well as greater e-literacy programs for women. These are key steps to ensuring gender parity in the South African tech sector.

Source: Paula Gilbert, ITWeb Ltd.