Image: Jayshree Naidoo, officially opening event with Tech storytelling.

JOHANNESBURG – Standard Bank and co-sponsor Liberty lauched The Women in Technology Conference hosted at the Protea Hotel, Melrose Arch to address challenges faced in the industry. 

The World Economic Forum's Annual Gender Gap Report shows slow progress and minimal change in many countries worldwide; it estimates gender parity globally may now be over 170 years away.

Previously, they estimated an 80-year timeframe, then it was 120 years.

Women comprise 55% of the country's entire workforce, yet only 20% of ICT professionals are women .

“We cannot miss this opportunity to grow this market, or be too slow to close the gender gap. It is crucial that the gateway to innovation and change is opened, and the levels of equality in the world of technology are improved,” says Jayshree  Naidoo Head- Standard Bank Incubator  from Standard Bank.

The conference had panel discussions and keynote speakers addressing how access to market opportunities can be created.

Some of these speakers included:

Charmaine Houvet, is the Director of Public Policy at Cisco. Charmaine gae insight about why it's important to have women sit on corporate boards. 

Charmaine Houvet, Director of Public Policy at Cisco, speaking about why it's important to have women sit on corporate boards #SBWomenInTech

— Social Coding ZA (@social_coding) October 19, 2017

Dr. Mmakani Jantjies, who is currently a senior lecturer and Head of Information Systems Department at the University of The Western Cape (UWC). 

Speaker, Dr Mmaki Jantjies, on Tech Entrepreneurs #SBWomenInTech

— It's_Phenyo (@PhenyoMoletsane) October 19, 2017

Jayshree Naidoo,  is part of the Customer Experience Team at Standard Bank. She is also the Interim CEO of Feenix ( a crowd funding platform that was launched by the Bank. Currently she is the Standard Bank Incubator Head. 

@jayshnaidoo on stage sharing the story of @Feenix_org and her journey of being a woman in technology 👌 | #LibertyBlueSkies #SBWomenInTech

— Vuyolwethu Dubese (@VDubese) October 19, 2017

“This conference hopes to make a difference by providing a platform for women in technology and those aspiring to enter this field to meet, engage and exchange ideas and experiences,” says Nicole Borges- Head of IT Investments CIB  from Standard Bank.

“Innovation, leading to new forms of technology, has opened up opportunities for women in Africa", says Jayshree Naidoo. 

 "It is up to us to grasp those opportunities, and we hope this conference will assist in closing gender gaps and inspiring women entrepreneurs to drive change through technology,” concludes Naidoo.