What better way to kick-off this year’s Women’s Month, than by celebrating South Africa’s Top 50 female innovators and business leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.
As part of the Netherlands Consulate General’s #InspiringFiftySA campaign, the winners of this year’s competition have just been announced but Cape Town Dutch Consul General, Bonnie Horbach, says with an overwhelming and growing number of successful women in these industries, choosing just 50 from over 270 nominations proved to be the most challenging part of the campaign.
“The judges had a hard time selecting the final fifty based on the high caliber of the nominees. These groundbreaking women will not only be recognized in South Africa, but will form part of a global network of women. Imagine the possibilities when connecting women through this platform to: be recognized in their respective fields, share their stories and make a difference by inspiring tomorrow’s female leaders.”
From CEOs, to tech-developers and even start-up entrepreneurs, the representation from across the myriad of STEM-career fields has certainly been impressive. The top 50 women weren’t just chosen based on their accomplishments or industry success, but also of course for their potential to inspire other like-minded women and girls to pursue their own STEM-career paths. Many of this year’s winners also have their own personal stories of triumph in the face of adversity to share, including overcoming a lack of access to education, poverty, sexism, racism, and disability discrimination.
The announcement of the winners coincides with National Science Week, where government officials and role-players in the science-sectors are hoping to get young people and especially girls, excited about the sciences and their future within the field. Horbach says in the current male-dominated industry and with skilled STEM professionals now in high demand across the country, there’s no greater way to encourage women than to give their potential future role-models a platform to shine. In the words of just 1 of this year’s Top 50 Inspiring women, digital solutions supplier Britehouse’s Chief Operating Officer Zimkhita Buwa:
“Success isn’t measured in how many accolades one receives, but by how many doors you unlock and how many young women’s lives you impact.”
Saya Pierce-Jones – Reporter, Smile90.4 FM News