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ICT: WiredWomen Conference Addresses Diversity in ICT


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The fifth WiredWomen Conference, being held on 23 October 2015 at the Protea Hotel Parktonian, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, will discuss issues of workplace diversity...

WiredWomen conference addresses diversity in ICT"It's time for women in tech to co-opt male champions in order to grow a more balanced representation in this space," says Debby Edelstein, CEO of QualityLife, organisers of the annual conference. "We need to encourage workplace diversity that brings the benefits of male and female leadership styles to the table. There is a lot that female leaders can learn from their male counterparts, and vice versa."

Sponsored by Standard Bank, the conference provides a platform where women leaders in the tech arena can share their first-hand experience through keynote presentations and interactive panel discussions. In addition, delegates enjoy real-time coaching sessions that equip entrepreneurs and start-up founders with practical tips on attracting talent, fostering innovation and managing diversity in the workplace.

Speakers at this year's conference include:

• World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Enyonam Kumahor
• Standard Bank Incubator Head Jayshree Naidoo
• MTN Foundation GM Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi
• South African Communication Forum CEO Loren Braithwaite-Kabosha
• IBM South Africa's Performance Marketing Leader Rebecca Munyuki

Wits Professor Barry Dwolatzky, the driving force behind the TechinBraam initiative, has thrown the weight of his Joburg Centre for Software Engineering behind WiredWomen as evidence of his commitment to growing the women in tech conversation through this platform.

Dwolatzky says, "The digital technology industry in South Africa is largely a 'man's world', particularly when one looks at those doing technical jobs. Historically women have been reluctant to go into IT. I believe that the gender imbalance in IT has impoverished the industry. While it is hard to generalise, I believed that women bring a number of critical attributes to an IT team. WiredWomen is an innovative and comprehensive effort to redress this balance. Since the organisation I head, the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University, has transformation and capacity development as two of its key goals, I strongly support the initiative and its projects."

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