Raising the tech sector's ceiling
The recent sale of 51% of Dynamic Talent by its young Managing Director, Candice Clark (32), to Dynamic Technologies has placed a spotlight on the importance of nurturing young and diverse female leaders and entrepreneurs in South Africa's promising and burgeoning technology industry.
Gender diversity makes simple business sense, as a study conducted by the World Economic Forum has shown. The study indicates that a rise of 1% in gender diversity correlates with a 3% rise in revenue. Gender-diverse companies also have an advantage in that different perspectives are represented, generating a broader range of ideas, and producing innovation superior to that of competitors.
Dynamic Talent provides a streamlined, professional talent acquisition and human resource solution to corporates, large organisations, big business, multinationals and fast-growing medium enterprises requiring top technology talent.
The importance of diversity has been a cornerstone of Dynamic Talent since its inception, and it was important for Clark to join forces with a group that shares the same values. As Clark explains: ''Diversity is more than just male/female. It is backgrounds, perspectives and education too. A lack of diversity in an organisation will be an inhibiting factor for driving the business forward and outdoing competitors.”
Companies that take a strategic decision to boost their intake of female tech specialists, and foster gender diversity at board and executive levels are likely to outperform and produce greater value for shareholders than homogenous companies. As Clark puts it: “A business leadership team is richer and less at risk of failure the more diverse it becomes. It challenges the status quo and brings fresh perspectives to the table. Isn’t that exactly what we want in tech?”
And of course, from an individualistic perspective, these strategies enable self-realisation – the fulfilment of individual potential.
''If one thinks diverse female leadership is lacking in tech organisations, the problem in entrepreneurship is even greater,” says Clark. “The barriers to entry are huge. We still have major funding and pay disparities in South Africa. And we still have many perceptions to challenge about a female’s ability to be a successful tech entrepreneur.” However, Clark believes the industry has made progress, and that the tech industry will be all the better for the diversity of thought this will bring.
Gartner research vice-president John-David Lovelock believes while South Africa is still behind in terms of overall IT spend, planned expansion will position its tech sector as one of the fastest-growing in the world, which adds up to a time of exciting potential for women tech entrepreneurs and start-ups.
''Tech is a dynamic landscape,'' agrees Clark. ''It’s fast-changing and evolving at a rate that is sometimes hard to keep up with. Entrepreneurs are acutely aware of this and are often the ones pushing the envelope and taking charge of how things need to change. It’s no wonder that an entrepreneurial skillset is one of the most common for which we are requested to recruit.”