As part of fulfilling the University and COT’s objectives of recognising women in innovation and celebrating their achievements, the dialogue will explore issues around the cultivation and nurturing of appropriate ecosystems and value chains in support of women leading in tech and innovation. Furthermore, the event will highlight diverse points of view of women in innovation on their experiences, ideas and contribution towards innovation chasms.
Among the phenomenal women participating in the event will be Dr Marcia Socikwa, the Deputy Director-General, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), who will provide the keynote address. The line-up will also include Klariska Moodley: Head of Experimentation at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Prof Anne Mason: Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Design(TUT), Dr Mmaki Jantjies: Head of Innovation at Telkom, and Adv Thando Gumede: Chief Executor Officer at M-TETO Search Engine.
Other panellists include industry leaders such as Zanele Monnakgotla, Managing Director at FreeWi Technologies; Sonwabise Mzinyathi, Chairperson at SA Women in Information and Communications Technology (ICT); Dr Palesa Sekhejane, Director for Strategic Partnerships Unit, Impact Centre at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC); and Prof Vinessa Naidoo: Professor at the Tshwane School of Business and Society.
Building on the success of previous events, Dr Hamilton Mphidi, Manager at TUT’s Innovation and Technology Transfer Office said: “All around the world, women are rising to the challenges of innovation, using their creativity and ingenuity to help drive positive changes and build a better, more sustainable future.”
“This year’s event, in partnership with COT, will offer us an opportunity to rub shoulders with and fully learn from those who are winning in innovation and the leadership environment. We also want to raise awareness of the need for more female innovators, and tech leaders, who can play a role in closing the gender gap and empowering all types of leaders”, Dr Mphidi alluded.