Here are SA’s Inspiring Fifty women in technology for 2017

Non-profit organisation Inspiring Fifty, an initiative of the Dutch Consulate General in Cape Town together with Inspiring Fifty Netherlands, has announced the names of its 50 inspiring women in technology in South Africa.

It follows a call the Dutch Consulate General put out in April for nominations for those who can serve as role models to attract more female champions in the technology-related fields. At the close of applications at the end of June, the consulate general had received 252 nominations.

Read more: Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative

Project manager Chantal Louw said in a press release this week that the calibre of women was “amazing” and added that the project had reached many different fields. The final 50 showcase a broad spectrum of skills:

  • Six are academics
  • 10 are in corporate
  • 25 are entrepreneurs
  • Two are journalists
  • Six are from NGOs
  • One is a venture capitalist

Inspiring Fifty was initiated by Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters from the Netherlands and has since been run in the Netherlands, Europe, France and the Nordic states.  The initiative aims to prove the philosophy that “if she can see it, she can be it”.

Hosting the first platform for inspiring women in technology outside of Europe, the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bonnie Horbach was elated at how far-spread the campaign reached, with finalists from Cape Town (28), Gauteng (19) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (3).

“I was overwhelmed by the response to the call for South Africa’s Inspiring Fifty; not only by the numbers but by the unbelievable talent that we were presented with,” said Horbach.

She said the Inspiring Fifty platform will achieve more than just educate girls. “Inspiring Fifty South Africa will be part of European platform of talented women in technology and innovation. It will show the caliber of female talent available in South Africa and change the persisting perception about Africa in Europe.

“There is so much talent here in Africa and now  with this amazing list of women, the Inspiring Fifty South Africa, we have the results to prove it,” she said.

The 50 are:

Aisha Pandor, co-founder, SweepSouth
Anita Loots, Head of African Planning, SKA project
Anitha Ramsuran, Manager of Innovation Skills Development, Technology Innovation Agency
Anne Githuku-Shongwe, founder and CEO, AFROES Transformational Games
Anusuya Chinsamy, professor and Head Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town
Audrey Verhaeghe, Chairperson, Innovation Summit
Barbara Mallinson, founder and CEO, Obami
Boitumelo Menyatswe, founder, Minderz
Darlene Menzies, founder and CEO, SMEasy and Finfind
Mmaki Jantjies, Head of the Information Systems Department, University of the Western Cape
Adriana Marais, Head of Innovation, SAP Africa
Ellen Fischat, Managing Director, Silicon Cape
Ellie Hagopian, CEO, Nomosphere
Emma Dicks, founder and Director, Code for Cape Town
Esther Titilayo Akinlabi, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at University of Johannesburg Fikiswa Majola, Deputy Director: Space Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology
Hema Vallabh, founder, WomHub
Julie Cleverdon, Director, Cape Town Science Centre
Kim Normand Dobrin, Computer literacy teacher, The Tomorrow Trust
Lethabo Motswaledi, CEO and co-founder, 3D Power
Lindiwe Matlali, founder and CEO, Africa Teen Geeks
Lynn Wilson, Systems Manager: HR Information Management, TFG
Magda Wierzycka, CEO, Sygnia
Maximillian Kaizen, co-founder, Treeshake
Mickey Mashale, Managing Executive and Head of Region, Vodacom
Mokhudu Macabda, Director, Kopanang Agricultural Co-operative
Nafisa Akabor, freelance technology journalist for Forbes Woman Africa, Destiny, Wired to the Web
Ndoni Mcunu, co-founder, Black Women in Science
Ngwako Lethabo Ramohlale, CEO, Nunnovation
Nneile Nkholise, founder, Likoebe Innovation Consultants
Nokuthula Ndlovu, founder and Strategic Engagement Partner, Limit Breakers Global Foundation & Barclays Africa Group
Nomso Faith Kana, Managing Director, Sun ’n Shield 84 Technologies; Blaze Away SA, Taungana Africa
Nothando Moleketi, COO, ReWare
Nunu Ntshingila, Head, Facebook Africa
Phadiela Cooper, Principal, COSAT High School
Pontsho Maruping, Councilor, South African Council for Space Affairs
Portia Maurice, Director, Nehanda Group
Pria Chetty, Regional Director, EndCode
Rapelang Rabana, founder and CEO, Rekindle Learning
Regina Luki Kgatle, founder and co-founder 67 Games, WeSmooth
Saidah Nash Carter, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, Thomson Reuters
Samantha Wright, blogger, Youtuber, content creator, TechGirl
Sibongile Sambo, founder and CEO, SRS Aviation Ltd
Sibongiseni Tunzelana Thotsejane, CIO, Flavalite
Stephanie Cowper, CEO and co-Founder, BeSpecular
Suzana Moreira, founder, Mowoza
Vere Shaba, owner and Director, Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions
Videsha Proothveerajh, Country Manager Southern Africa, Intel
Xoliswa Kakana, CEO, ICT-Works
Yolisa Kani, Public Policy Head, Uber SA



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