Bridging the gap: improving women's access to high-value tech careers

Johannesburg, 19 Mar 2019
Read time 2min 30sec
Well done to our 18 young women who joined the BBD X Umuzi web development learnership.
Well done to our 18 young women who joined the BBD X Umuzi web development learnership.

Web development is one of the fastest growing industries, requiring scarce digital skills. There are too few qualified candidates to meet the demand of entry-level dev jobs in South Africa. With females representing only 20% of the global tech workforce, there is also an acute shortage of women in the male-dominated tech sector.

To address this shortage of skilled female coding talent, BBD, South Africa's premier custom software development company, is partnering with Umuzi to support 18 previously unemployed or under-employed young women to become junior full-stack Web developers.

Hlobisile Mlebuka is one of the first young women to join the programme: "I started a mathematics and statistics degree at Wits, but had to drop out after two years because of a lack of financial and academic support. I then found myself working in hospitality, trying to complete my qualification part-time through Unisa, while also looking for relevant opportunities to pursue a maths and stats career. While I was researching, I discovered Web development and data science. I realised that I needed more training but wanted to find a more efficient route to acquire these skills than just doing another degree. I chose the Umuzi programme because in just 12 short months, I will learn the relevant skills and be ready to start work with a top employer like BBD."

Umuzi is an organisation that supports talented young people to access high-value digital careers in a 12-month skills development programme. With the investment of committed partners like BBD, Umuzi expects to support over 200 young people nationally to enter into high-value careers in 2019.

"There is no shortage of talented young women with an aptitude for coding, only a lack of opportunities for women to access quality training that leads to high-value careers," says Andrew Levy, MD of Umuzi.

"Coding is a critical skill of the future, and we simply don't have enough local quality talent to meet our business's growing demands. As a company, we need to support more young people, specifically young women, to develop these high-value skills, so that they can help grow our industry, and the local economy," says Peter Searle, CEO of BBD.

In 2018, Umuzi supported over 100 previously unemployed young people to access high-value digital careers, including Web development, data science, business analysis, user experience design, copywriting, and multimedia content production.

For more information on Umuzi, go to

For more information on BBD, go to

To arrange a media interview with one of these women or the organisation, please contact Andrew Levy on (082) 941 0234 or

Umuzi supports talented young people to access high-value digital careers.


A provider of custom software development and application design solutions, BBD's 34 years of technical and developer expertise spans the banking, finance, insurance, telecommunications, education and public sectors. BBD is South Africa's largest independent custom software development company employing over 700 highly skilled, motivated and experienced IT professionals. BBD is 51% black-owned and a level 2 B-BBEE partner, with a 125% B-BBEE recognition.

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