ISACA South Africa Chapter supports International Women’s Month and One in Tech Sheleadstech
International Women's Day is a global day which was observed on 8 March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and increase the awareness on women's equality and gender parity. The chosen campaign theme for this year’s International Women's Day 2021 was “Choose to Challenge - A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change”.
While strides towards gender equality have been made, organisations are still well behind in achieving gender parity in many industries; and particularly within the field of technology. Achieving gender parity is important for economic growth and societal cohesion; and research shows that a balance of men and women in leadership roles boosts performance and helps to create psychological safety, unlocks innovation and promotes diversity of thought. International Women’s Day promotes a call to action. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum predicted that it could take another 257 years to close the current economic gender gap. Further evidence shows that the socio-economic implications of COVID19 are further impacting women disproportionately.
Following on from the events hosted in 2020, the ISACA South Africa Chapter continued to demonstrate its commitment to International Women’s Day by hosting two professional forum meetings during the months of March and April; featuring rising and leading women in the Chapter who form part of the community of women in technology. The objective of these events is to catalyse the Sheleadstech movement towards closing the economic gender gap, encourage active dialogue; and showcase the benefits of having a diverse workforce which could inspire an active network of leaders and role models.
The first event, “Stay positive and live a colourful life”, was held on 10 March 2021 with ISACA South Africa Chapter Johannesburg Regional Director, Kgabo Ralebepa as programme coordinator. An opening address was made by ISACA South Africa Chapter President, Mrs. Arlene-Lynn Volmink. The keynote speaker was the 2020 ISACA SA Young Professional of the Year award recipient, Candice Jackson from Mobius Consulting who shared her insights on being a Women in a Digital World. The first guest speaker, Kaylan Petersen who is currently an IT Auditor at Santam, shared her insights on cloud governance and risk. Our second guest speaker, Kholofelo Makula (ISACA/IIA Student Body President & Academic tutor, Tshwane University of Technology) presented on the importance of POPIA in the IT environment. The event was attended by over 150 delegates.
The second event took place on 29 March 2021 and was hosted by the Kwazulu-Natal Regional Committee of the ISACA South Africa Chapter and attracted more than 90 delegates. The first speaker, Sandika Daya (Digital Assurance, Digital Technology Transformation and Cybersecurity Advisor) presented on the evolving topic of “Digital Business Transformation and The Role of Internal Audit.” This was followed by guest speaker, Dr Trishana Ramluckan (Research Manager, Educor Holdings and Honorary Research Fellow, (IHL), UKZN School of Law) who presented on “The Implications of Net Neutrality: A Legal Approach”.
On 14 April 2021, a professional forum meeting was hosted by the Johannesburg Regional Committee and attended by over 100 delegates. The agenda included guest speakers Tebello Mokhema (Business and Leadership Coach and Founder of Mozite Pty Ltd.) and Candice Jackson (Senior Managing Consultant at Mobius Consulting) who presented on Authentic Personal Leadership & To know or not to know your external business partners!
Through its events and activities, the ISACA South Africa Chapter continues to assist in raising awareness and inspiring change in addressing the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry and career paths.
In addition to the events hosted by the ISACA South Africa Chapter, Mrs. Volmink participated in a “Resilient leadership in times of uncertainty” panel discussion alongside other women in technology in Africa. The event was hosted by the ISACA Gabarone Chapter held on 24 March 2021 and featured fellow panellists Matshiiso Kereteletswe (COO at FNB Botswana), Chipo Majele (President at the ISACA Lusaka Chapter), Onalenna Giddie (Manager, IT Risk and Advisory at KPMG), Dorine Nalo (Digital Transformation Consultant), Esther Yane (IT Services Manager at BIH). The panel discussion was moderated by Segametsi Mafa (Founder and MD, Service Xcellence). Mrs. Volmink offered a closing comment to the discussion saying that “This pandemic looks to be a persistent challenge for organisational leadership all over the world that speaks to our very existence - much broader than technology, it speaks to our humanity - our meaning to life, our need to heal and our survival. It calls for human-centered leadership. Regardless of your position, race, gender, title, you are a leader – and the world needs you to lead within your area of expertise and within your area of control, to lead yourself and lead others, and to lead by example – to act now and do your part to make the world a better place.”
The ISACA South Africa Chapter will be hosting its second virtual conference from 7 to 8 June 2021, and the discussion on gender parity will continue with Mrs. Jo Stewart-Rattray presenting on the topic of “The Gender Perception Gap: Diversity and Inclusion in the Time of Pandemic”.
The Chapter will also be hosting an upcoming One in Tech Sheleadstech event in August 2021 in celebration of National Women’s Day. Keep an eye on our events page for more details: https://engage.isaca.org/southafricachapter/events/recentcommunityeventsdashboard
Contact ISACA South Africa Chapter:
Phone: (+27) 87 550 9289
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Come visit us at our Cape Town Office: Unit 1, Bellfour Office Park, C/o Edmar and Rogers Streets, Bellville, 7600, South Africa.