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Inspiring Fifty announces SA's top tech females

Some of the South African females recognised for their roles in the tech industry.

Some of the South African females recognised for their roles in the tech industry.

Ahead of Women's Day celebrations tomorrow, Inspiring Fifty has named 50 South African females who are making a difference and achieving significant milestones in the local tech industry.

After an application process that attracted 252 nominations to sign up and become role models to attract more female champions in technology-related fields, the non-profit organisation selected 50 finalists to make up SA's first Inspiring Fifty.

In a statement, Inspiring Fifty says the women will go on to inspire and encourage South African girls and point out opportunities they may not have realised were available to them.

To make up SA's Inspiring Fifty, the judges selected finalists from a broad spectrum that includes academics, entrepreneurs, corporate, journalism and venture capitalism. Some of the finalists include Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth; Ellen Fischat, MD of Silicon Cape; Yolisa Kani, public policy head at Uber SA; and freelance technology journalist Nafisa Akabor.  

The selected nominees have more than proved themselves worthy of their new titles as one of SA's first Inspiring Fifty women, says project manager Chantal Louw. "The calibre of women is amazing and the project has reached so many different fields."

Bonnie Horbach, consul general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, where the initiative first launched, says she is elated at how far-spread the campaign reached, with finalists from Cape Town, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

"I was overwhelmed by the response to the call for SA's Inspiring Fifty, not only by the numbers but by the unbelievable talent that we were presented with."

According to Horbach, the Inspiring Fifty platform will achieve more than educating girls. "Inspiring Fifty South Africa will be part of a European platform of talented women in technology and innovation. It will show the calibre of female talent available in SA and change the persisting perception about Africa in Europe. There is so much talent here in Africa and now with this amazing list of women, the Inspiring Fifty South Africa, we have the results to prove it."

Inspiring Fifty was initiated by Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters from the Netherlands and has since been realised in the Netherlands, Europe, France and the Nordics.

In partnership with the Dutch consulate general in Cape Town, Inspiring Fifty Netherlands launched Inspiring Fifty SA in April.

"We are excited about all these women who have been given the opportunity to create awareness of their roles in the technology and innovation sectors and encourage more women to join the force," concludes Niessen.

To view the complete list of SA's Inspiring Fifty, click here.


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