The winners at the MTN Women in ICT - Partnership for Change Awards

So last night, I attended the 2017 Women in ICT  - Partnership for Change Awards. The second annual awards were filled good food, wonderful people, enriching conversations and soothing music. We were serenaded by songstress, Nomfundo Xaluva.

This is the second year that MTN, in partnership with Kagiso Media’s East Coast Radio as well as ITWeb’s Brainstorm, is hosting the Awards.

The awards uncover and celebrate the most inspirational women working within the technology and raise awareness of the diverse opportunities available - encouraging greater numbers of women to work in the sector.

Despite progress in the sector, men continue to substantially outnumber women in terms of employment in the tech industry.  With gender diversity, especially in the ICT sector, being an ongoing challenge, the awards aim to celebrate women in the industry and help close the gender gap by providing an important platform to move the diversity agenda from discussion to action.

The president and group CEO of MTN, Rob Shuter reaffirmed the importance of women's advancement in ICT sector and he emphasized the importance of having diversity in all sectors.  CEO of Kagiso Media, Mark Harris said those who have been nominated have a responsibility to lead innovation in the sector.

Finalists for this year's awards were chosen by a panel of judges who play a significant role in the technology community. As always, the selection process was very challenging due to the high caliber of nominations received.  The women were chosen for their outstanding contributions to the sector, both inside and outside their organisations. Out of the 21 nominees, only seven women were declared winners.

Here are all the winners at the MTN Women in ICT - Partnership for Change Awards.

Community Builder Recognition Award winner is Martine Schaffer - CEO of The Click Foundation.

The Minister's Award winner is Charmaine Houvet - public Policy Director of Africa at Cisco Systems.

Innovator Recognition Award winner is Rene Pearson- technical director at Aurecon.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award winners is Paula Gilbert and Simnikiwe Mzekandaba both from, ITWeb telecoms.

The CEO's Award winner is Fatima Mayet - senior manager of Infrastructure Operations at MTN

SME Recognition Award Award winner is, Matau Ramapuputla - teacher, author and a woman in ICT.

The Leadership Recognition Award winner is Carol Thomas - director of the WomanSpace and iMobiMaMa.

Graham de Vries, Executive Corporate Services at MTN SA says, “On behalf of MTN, we wish to congratulate the winners for consistently distinguishing themselves with outstanding performance throughout their careers. We are pleased with the positive response we have received from the industry, and the support from government. We believe that this initiative will give impetus to the ongoing interventions by the industry to drive gender transformation in the sector. The time is now for women to play a meaningful role in the nucleus of the industry, and we believe that such initiatives will help to heighten awareness about opportunities in the ICT sector and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition.”

Mark Harris, Group CEO of Kagiso Media concurred: “At Kagiso Media, we are honoured to be associated with an initiative that is championing the noble cause of recognising and awarding excellence and driving transformation. We believe that the MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards will be a catalyst that puts the ICT sector on the map, and reminds female professionals about significant contributions they have made, and continue to make towards the growth of the sector.”

I had a great time at the 2017 Women in ICT  - Partnership for Change Awards. I've been inspired by the women's individual achievements and
 collective efforts to promote other women in the sector.

One last shout out to all these amazing #womenintech and this year's #MTNWIICT2017 winners. Thank you for inspiring us.