The 2023 Women in Tech SHEvolution Experience held in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Thursday was a resounding success.
Women attendees converged on Vodacom World in celebrating and awarding of women-owned tech SMMEs for their remarkable contributions and achievements in the tech industry.
This year, WIT2023 called on women to join the SHEvolution to highlight the need for greater change towards gender equality, and to provide solutions, encouraging more women and young girls to participate in STEM fields.
Tashline Jooste, chief executive officer of Innovator Trust, delivered a visionary address, emphasising the transformative power of technology in Africa and the pivotal role women play in driving this change. Her commitment to impactful small business development and empowering entrepreneurs has been a driving force behind the success of Innovator Trust.
Jooste believes the future of technology belonged to women who are working hard to shape it.
In a spectacular programme led by broadcasters Azania Mosaka, Leanne Manas and Zuraida Jardine, the award ceremony showcased the exceptional accomplishments of the Innovator Trust Women in Tech Award recipients.
The exceptional line-up of speakers included Jooste; Takalani Netshitenzhe, the chief officer and executive director of external affairs at Vodacom South Africa; Irene Charnley, the president of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa; Professor Thuli Madonsela, the Law Trust chairperson: Social Justice, Stellenbosch University, and UN Advisory Board member of science and technology; Charmaine Houvet, the chairperson of the South African Communications Forum and the senior director of Cisco Africa; Bridget Ngcobo, the head of Agency Business Partners, Google South Africa; Ipeleng Mkhari, the CEO of Motseng Investment Holdings; Shamiela Letsoalo, the director of public affairs and board director of E-Commerce Forum, Naspers; Thebe Magugu, an award-winning South African fashion designer; Atenkosi Ngubevana, the group executive head of digital process automation and process re-engineering at Vodacom SA; Phiona Okumu, the head of music at Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa; Nontando Mposo, the editor-in-chief of “Glamour” magazine; Yasmin Furmie, a fashion influencer and the co-founder of Sisi The Collection; Deshnie Govender, the head of brand marketing at TikTok METAP: Sub-Saharan Africa; Ndia Magadagela, the co-founder of Everlectric; Onkgopotse Khumalo, the founder of Pocket Couch; and Dr Tamaryn Green, a medical doctor, Miss SA 2018, Miss Universe 1st runner-up 2018.
During the panel discussions, Netshitenzhe delivered a powerful message and said: “In the digital space, threats lurk unseen until they hit. Let’s bridge the gender gap in tech and address these challenges together for a safer, inclusive digital future. When empowering girls, always remind boys of their role in society. The digital space holds both promise and threats; we must manage the dark side of tech.”
Letsoalo emphasised the importance of women giving themselves permission to be seen, recognised, and take up space. “Courage is the gateway to authenticity,” she said.
Mkhari spoke about women’s desire in a business ecosystem that’s not only competitive, but also nurturing. “The magic happens when fun and competition go hand in hand in an ever-evolving space. Let’s make it happen!”
The attendees, who dazzled on the red carpet in white and silver outfits, were treated to a live performance, delicious food and refreshments.
The Innovator Trust Women in Tech Experience serves as a platform to inspire and motivate aspiring women in the technology sector, fostering a culture of innovation and inclusivity among women within South African SMMEs. The SHEvolution Experience 2023 was more than an award ceremony, it was a holistic experience celebrating resilience, innovation, and the collective power of women in shaping the future of technology.
Vodacom Innovator Trust Supplier Development Top Female Achiever Highest Percentage Growth 2022/23: Thabile Makhoba, Makhoba Professional Services.
Top Female Achiever Highest Percentage Growth 2022/23
1st Place – Wahseema Miller and Nicole Miller, Temo Digital
2nd Place – Nomphomelelo Mahlangu, Synergy Trading & Projects
3rd Place – Leslen Ash and Maryse Monmarche, iTechnology Africa.
Enterprise Development Top Female Achiever Quarter 1 2023
1st Place – Unathi Nuku, New Era IT
2nd Place – Joanne Madavha, Diamonds of Africa Consulting
3rd Place – Leigh Desai, Innativ Studio.
Enterprise Development Top Female Employment Creator 2022/23: Wahseema Miller and Nicole Miller, Temo Digital.
Enterprise Development Top Female Achiever YTD Turnover 2022/23 Winner: Wahseema Miller and Nicole Miller, Temo Digital
Youth Entrepreneurship Programme Top Female Achiever 2023: Bongeka Ntshangase.
Vodacom Innovator Trust Supplier Development Female Pinnacle Award 2022/23 Winner: Lilian Kistan, Tekwecomm.
Innovator Trust Enterprise Development Female Pinnacle Award 2022/23 Winner: Katlego Malatji, ProjectOne Engineering.