Women continue to add value to the technology workplace

By Mike van Lier, Business Leader for IT Solutions at Samsung Electronics SA

South Africa has grown in leaps and bounds with regard to further inclusion of women in the workplace. In an international study conducted by Pepperdine University, it was reported that women in top positions in industry average higher levels of productivity and profitability.

In an article written by Forbes online contributor Glen Llopis, women see opportunity in everything and everyone; they are masters of navigation and putting their ideas to the test; they are specialists at cultivating relationships that are purposeful, genuine and meaningful; and they seek to give to others but also to their communities.

These are all qualities that have seen women coming to the forefront in a number of previously male-dominated fields. The IT sector has seen an upsurge in female innovators and pioneers who have traversed the chasm that previously separated men and women in the field. Interestingly, research indicates that collective (group) intelligence, which plays a large role in company success, is not only greater than the intelligence input of one individual in the group, but is also attributed to at least 50% of the group members being women.

Women bring a number of so-called soft skills to the table. These include relational and emotional intelligence, holistic perspective, inclusion, empathy and intuition. While these skills were previously dismissed as not suited to the business environment, it has been found that they are in fact powerful facilitators for the emergence of collective intelligence.

The dynamic and innovative IT environment challenges women to assume a more interactive role in the workplace. In the IT space risk taking and risk mitigation, combined with their emotional quotient (EQ) are the major drivers and differentiators.

Women in IT leadership roles are characterised as being passionate, driven and successful. In many instances, there is the battle to find the elusive balance work-life-balance between a fulfilling career and a happy home. It is critical that women utilise tools to help create and manage the balance for a smarter and simpler life.

Interestingly, women in the IT field already know that the self-same technology that they nurture and promote is one of the essential tools they require to provide them with an easier, faster and more streamlined way of coping with multiple demands.

In order to achieve optimum success in the workplace, women need to immerse themselves in the benefits that technology offers on both a professional and personal basis. By capitalising on one of their greatest assets – the ability to communicate and share information – women will be able to leverage the benefits of technology to make life easier and more convenient.

The IT sector is constantly changing as technology expands and evolves at a rapid pace but with the right business acumen, model and service excellence mantra; there are massive opportunities for women in technology innovation, from both a corporate and entrepreneurial perspective.

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