There are many women doing great things in tech in South Africa, making their mark with cool initiatives and strong leadership roles.
Gender diversity in technology is an ongoing challenge, and women have to constantly prove their capabilities and strengths.
Yet, more women are contributing innovative and even disruptive ideas, making meaningful change in people’s lives.
Here are 5 inspiring women in the ever growing fast-paced South African tech space.
1. Barbara Mallinson, Obami CEO
Barbara Mallinson is the founder and chief executive of Obami, a social learning platform being used by hundreds of schools across Africa, Europe and the United States.
She saw a gap in the SA market – schools were creating real-life networks, but they weren’t making use of online tools to take that further.
Obami was recognised as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Technologies in the World in 2011 by Netexplo, Unesco and partners.
It was also identified as one of the Top 20 Start-ups in Africa by Forbes a year later, and Mallinson was featured on the Forbes 10 Female Tech Founders to Watch in Africa list.
2. Karen Nadasen, PayU South Africa CEO
Karen Nadasen, the CEO of PayU South Africa, is a self-motivated professional with extensive experience working in both Europe and Africa for the likes of Microsoft and BP.
Nadasen joined PayU in June 2012 as a Product Manager; she advanced to Head of Product and Delivery Manager for MEA, before being appointed as CEO in June 2016.
She is passionate about direct, on-the-ground leadership and execution, fostering environments that promote visibility, hard work and dedication, that inspire and deliver results.
PayU is South Africa’s largest online payment gateway and part of the Naspers group. PayU has a 40% market share in the South African online payments market and currently services more than 1 500 of SA’s top merchants.
Globally, PayU has a presence across 16 high-growth markets, offering over 250 payment options to over 2.3 billion users.
3. Nisha Maharaj, Niche Integrated Solutions executive
Nisha Maharaj is the founder of Niche Integrated Solutions, an ICT solutions company that brings innovative solutions to Africa.
Niche Integrated Solutions provides software solutions, ICT managed services and training.
Maharaj has an accumulated service record of 20 years working experience within South Africa’s major listed companies.
These range from the top four banking and financial services companies, to the telecommunications sector – where for more than 14 years she served at either executive management, general management or COO level.
She is of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2015.
4. Annette Muller, DotNxt founder
Annette Muller is at the forefront of the South African tech sphere as the founder and CEO of DotNxt, a strategic innovation management firm in Cape Town.
DotNxt was established to bridge the gap between strategy (consulting) and delivery (project management) on a range of digital, mobile, social and next-generation branding projects.
Muller manages the execution and strategy of over twenty corporate clients, including some of South Africa’s largest companies, such as Nedbank, Primedia and Graham Beck, making sure there’s a clear line of communication throughout the company’s networks.
Muller was also listed by Forbes as one of the 10 Female Tech Founders to Watch in Africa.
5. Baratang Miya, GirlHype CEO
Baratang Miya is the founder and CEO of GirlHype – Women Who Code, a not-for-profit that provides programming and app development training for girls and young women.
A self-taught coder, she has been sharing her skills and experiences with women and girls through her leadership at GirlHype.
Through GirlHype’s programmes, women and girls learn to code and create solutions, with fun, hands-on opportunities to get engaged with science, engineering, technology, arts and maths (STEAM).
Although she focuses on getting women into STEAM, Miya understands that this is about building women’s self-efficacy and confidence to work in tech or beyond.