South African Government Responds to Gender Gap in ICT Employment
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.