IT in Manufacturing

Empowering SA’s women in automation, manufacturing, and infosecurity

April 2023 IT in Manufacturing

The month of March marks International Women’s Month, with International Women’s Day celebrated on 8 March. Adopted by the United Nations, this year’s theme of ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’ recognises the gap in technology access for women across the globe and seeks to celebrate progress while highlighting fairness for women in all facets of life.

There are more women in South Africa than men, yet men still largely dominate certain fields such as working in manufacturing and infosecurity. Fortunately, many women are breaking through gender roles and old perceptions, leading the way and inspiring other women to do the same.

South Africa’s B-BBEE laws promote the inclusion of women and while there is still more work to be done to see better results across the country, it is positive that South African laws support better inclusion. An estimated 98% of businesses in South Africa are SMMEs, but according to Stats SA, 47% of women living here are economically inactive. To improve this misaligned narrative, women need to be empowered and given access to information and upliftment, such as networking opportunities that can help to encourage professional growth.

Upcoming events that seek to offer these opportunities are the 12th Africa Automation Technology Fair (AATF), co-located with the inaugural Infosecurity Africa, held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, running from 9 – 11 May 2023.

Infosecurity Africa, the African edition under leading global cybersecurity and information security events group, will cover the latest trends, threats and cybercrime prevention tactics. The AATF’s theme this year is “For Africa from Africa” and will comprise all things automation and technology.

The exhibitions will drive industry development and bring together the leading entrepreneurs, small businesses and public and private stakeholders in automation, technology, infosecurity, and manufacturing in one venue.

“It’s an opportunity to get inspired and to see an array of individuals and businesses working in these industries. Supporting women who are doing great work among them is very important to us,” says Carol Weaving, managing director at RX Africa, the award-winning organisers behind these exhibitions.

“Women have been underrepresented in the workforce generally, but that trend is shifting in exciting ways as women make strides in fields like automation and cybersecurity. At RX Africa, we believe in creating dedicated event spaces that make it easy to discover the latest trends and growth opportunities, and to meet the right suppliers or new business partners in these featured industries.”

Visitors can look forward to hearing from the Women Economic Assembly (WECONA) at a networking breakfast on 11 May during the AATF. WECONA has united industry associations and companies in industry-wide support towards reaching gender transformation targets. “Tackling inequality in the key sectors of our economy through the WECONA initiative has encouraged many women to strive towards professional growth, which inspires other women to do the same. We want to keep building on this progress and our vision to bolster the participation of women-owned enterprises in our economy,” says Futhi Mtoba, Co-chair of the Women Economic Assembly.

For more information, contact +27 10 496 3500, [email protected]

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