Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, Mapula Bodibe Picture: Thembelihle Mkhonza

Johannesburg - Telecommunications giant MTN on Wednesday officially launched the second edition of the Women in the information and communication technologies (ICT) Partnership for Change Awards. 

MTN in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb’s Brainstorm, have invited nominations from and for eligible female professionals working in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector for consideration in various categories.

Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, Mapula Bodibe, said “We are here today to launch the second edition of Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards. We dedicate this initiative to the millions of women out there who have, over the years been the symbols of resilience, fortitude, hope and sustenance”.

Bodibe said that despite the strides being made by women professionals in ICT, a lot still needs to be done to increase the levels of women participation in the sector.

“This initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the ICT sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the ICT sector.”

“In doing so, this initiative hopes to attract girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition,” said Bodibe.

She said that those women represent mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues. It is these women that demonstrated an inner strength that is remarkable in the face of various types of adversity. Like a phoenix, they have, during times of great difficulty, managed to rise from the ashes and served as a source of inspiration to those around them.

The representation of and by women in the ICT was still negligible. Regardless of how bleak the statistics were, there were still pockets of remarkable women leaders in the ICT sector. She wished to appeal to those professionals to use their influence and positions to pave the way for other female professionals to thrive and prosper.

“We need to dispose of the exclusivist, I am the first woman to...” mindset. We have to re-awaken the nurturing spirit that women are renowned for - to mentor and coach female professionals who are still rising up the ranks,” said Bodibe.

Read also: 'Tech disruptors' recognised at MTN Awards

Bodibe said that women have the power, and an instrumental role to play, in changing the gender demographics of the ICT sector. They need to create conditions where women grow to become a critical mass that will drive the agenda of an ICT sector with a heart.

Mark Harris, Group CEO of Kagiso Media said “As Kagiso Media, we are honoured to be associated with an initiative that is championing the noble cause of recognising and awarding excellence and driving transformation.

“We believe that the second edition of the Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards will be a catalyst that puts the ICT sector on the map, remind female professionals of the significant contributions they have made, and continue to make relevant changes in our country through telecommunications and technology.”