More women turn to tech
Women are becoming “early adopters” of technology as they become more comfortable using technology in their daily lives.
This is according to Melanie Botha, Microsoft SA's marketing and operations director, who also believes that women are becoming more relevant in the IT industry. She explains that more women are qualifying themselves with degrees in IT and related fields.
Zahira Kharsany, who runs a technology blog, believes women are turning to technology out of necessity. She explains that more women are becoming entrepreneurs, and as entrepreneurs, they need to use technology.
Kharsany adds that, as mothers, women need to keep up with the technology their children use. According to Monique Ross, founder of tech blog She's the Geek, mothers use computers and the Internet to help their children with their homework.
According to Botha, one of the reasons women are becoming early adopters of technology is because it allows them to manage different areas of their lives and also keep in touch with personal and professional contacts.
Ntombezinhle Modiselle, marketing manager at Intel, also attributes the adoption of technology by women to their need to manage different aspects of their lives. She explains that women fulfil multiple roles, and technology helps them do this.
Botha uses smartphones as an example of how women use technology to manage their lives. She says women have taken to smartphones because the apps on these devices allow them to carry out their daily tasks while they are on the move.
Dominating the blogosphere
[EMBEDDED]A study by Nielson also suggests that women dominate blogging platforms. According to the study, which was carried out last year, the majority of bloggers are women and one out of three bloggers is a mother.
Palesa Sibeko, who blogs about technology, believes people have turned to blogging because it allows them to publish themselves in an easy manner, while Modiselle says there are more women bloggers than men because women are communicators. Ross follows the same reasoning: “Women love to talk and have lots of stories to share,” she says.
According to Nafisa Akabor, editor of My Digital Life, women tend to blog about cooking, fashion, relationships and parenting. Akabor believes this is because these are topics to which most women can relate.
Girls on tech
Akabor says that while there are women who blog about technology or gaming, they are in the minority. However, there are a few women in SA who do blog about technology and some of them argue that they add value because of their female perspective.
Robyn Clark, a teacher who blogs about how she uses technology in the classroom, believes her blog adds value because it gives other teachers insight into her classroom as well as ideas they can use in their classrooms.
While Sibeko says she does not factor her gender into her blog, and that people have sometimes been surprised to find a woman wrote blog posts of hers that they have read, Kharsany, Ross and Akabor believe that, as women, they add value to blogs about technology.
Ross says this is because women experience technology differently. Furthermore, Kharsany believes that she adds a “twist” to the “geek speak” used by her male counterparts. “I use simple language,” she explains.