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Thoughts from KMC

Will women ever be celebrated in tech?

Kgomotso Sediane

June 2017

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The road might be steep, but we all know; women-on-a-mission are unstoppable, even if it takes a bit longer to reach their goal compared to their male colleagues…

A good news story is that according to the latest Grant Thornton report on Women in Business, 28% of senior management roles in South Africa are held by women - slightly ahead of the global average of 25%!

A lot has been written about the scarcity of women in technology-related fields and industries. Coders, engineers, product designers, software developers and MDs or CEOs are usually not associated with women. Yet, many women are doing great things in tech in South Africa, carving out their own paths and creating cool stuff along the way. One such a cool, calm and dynamic woman is our own Kgomotso Sediane, Managing Director of Khabane Majestic Consulting (KMC).

At KMC, a software development company, we celebrate all of our employees, but we are particularly focused on empowering our women. Kgomotso came through the ranks and understands what it’s like to suit-up to be a part of the boys’ club to progress in your career. Under Kgomotso’s leadership, KMC is striving to make a space for women where they can be themselves while excelling in their career.

Long gone are the days of bare feet women in the kitchen, cooking her life away…

As an MD, Kgomotso often has interesting experiences when dealing with new clients. Like many other women in tech, she is usually first seen as a female and then a thought leader. This means that she has to explain and prove herself the whole time. She often pulls her team into meetings and that’s when the dynamics change. That’s when the client realises that Kgomotso is a respected member of a team that’s mostly males. “It is a part of each and every women who is in business, we need men to come to the party and trust us a little bit more – we have proved it.”

Kgomotso says: “It’s not an easy journey for a woman to climb up the corporate ladder and the biggest concern for me is the fact that I am not accepted and embraced as a woman, so I have to “man up” and “suit-up” to portray masculine qualities which in turn earns me respect.”

Ladies (and gents/guys with lady friends in tech), here are Kgomotso’s tips for how women in tech can realise their dream jobs:

  • Do not believe what you are being told about your potential – especially if it is negative. There is nothing you cannot do!
  • Men do not have special skills or attributes that make them better at tech.
  • Seek out knowledge and find good mentors who can help you navigate this space.
  • It is important that you have the perseverance and be patient.
  • Be a woman, it’s OK to be a woman – do your nails and put on your heels, if you want to.

KMC cares about women in the workplace, which is why we encourage our team to remember that:

  • The change needs to happen in every individual.
  • The driver is our own perceptions. We need to talk about this. That’s the only way that we will be able to identify support mechanisms.
  • Most of what needs to be done is really just changing attitudes and how we treat others.
  • Integration is key, when women stand together we can demonstrate our knowledge and the value we add.

By creating a safe space for women in the Tech industry, we welcome female-talent to close the gender gap. Learn more about how seriously KMC takes our role in tech here: http://www.khabane.co.za

You are also welcome to read our blogs on the Khabane Articles page

Kgomotso Sediane