MTN opens nomination entries at the launch of Women in ICT-Partnership for Change Awards

MTN, in partnership with Kagiso Media and ITWeb’s Brainstorm, have officially launched the second edition of the Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards, and have invited nominations from and for eligible female professionals working in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector for consideration in various categories.

This initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the ICT sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the ICT sector. In doing so, this initiative hopes to attract girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition.

Nominees will be evaluated in the following categories:

Leadership Recognition Award: recognises senior female executives in the ICT sector whose proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams has impacted positively on the organisations they lead.

Innovator Recognition Award: recognises women who have introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.

SME Recognition Award: recognises wholly-owned, women-run enterprises that are viable businesses which are making inroads in the ICT sector, and will be extended to internal employees who also run businesses on the side, using ICT to enable their businesses.

Graduate Award (High Schools): recognises a top ICT graduate from a high school who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.

Graduate Award (Tertiary): recognises a top ICT graduate from a tertiary institution who finished top of their class. The award is open to females who graduated in the immediate year preceding the awards ceremony.

Community Builder Recognition Award: recognises a woman who has made a considerable difference in her community through ICT, or use of an ICT tool to make a difference in the community.

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): recognises a woman who has longstanding success in the ICT industry, has demonstrated a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, and has continually stayed ahead of the curve.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: this category seeks to recognise a journalist who has contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting.

CEO’s Award: this award recognises an MTN employee that has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and Technology.

Ministerial Recognition Award: this category gives the minister the opportunity to use their discretion to nominate a female ICT professional whose contribution has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to telecommunication services.

This year, the Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards has introduced a new category known as: The Public Choice Award. This category gives members of the public the opportunity to nominate an outstanding female professional in the ICT sector using an SMS platform. The dedicated SMS number will be unveiled in due course.
Mapula Bodibe, Executive for the Consumer Business Unit at MTN SA, says that despite the strides being made by women professionals in ICT, a lot still needs to be done to increase the levels of women participation in the sector.

“We are here today to launch the second edition of Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards. We dedicate this initiative to the millions of women out there who have, over the years, been the symbols of resilience, fortitude, hope and sustenance.

These women represent our mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues. It is these women that demonstrated an inner strength that is remarkable in the face of various types of adversity. Like a phoenix, they have, during times of great difficulty, managed to rise from the ashes and served as a source of inspiration to those around them.

The representation of and by women in the ICT is still negligible. Regardless of how bleak the statistics are, there are still pockets of remarkable women leaders in the ICT sector. I wish to appeal to these professionals to use their influence and positions to pave the way for other female professionals to thrive and prosper.

We need to dispose of the exclusivist: “I am the first woman to…” mindset. We have to re-awaken the nurturing spirit that women are renowned for – to mentor and coach female professionals who are still rising up the ranks,” says Bodibe.

Nominations for entries can be submitted at
The closing date is 04 August 2017.

Last year’s winners:

The prolific businesswoman, Irene Charnley was named as the winner of the Entrepreneur Recognition Award. This accolade was bestowed on Charnley in recognition of the viable business she founded, Smile Communications, which is trail-blazing across the continent.

Aisha Mohamed was announced the winner in the Leadership Recognition Award category. This was in recognition of the proven depth of experience she has showed in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams that impacted positively on the organisation she led. Mohamed is the Head of Bouquet 3 at SABC 3 and SABC Encore.

The team of adjudicators selected Stephanie Cowper as the winner of the Innovator Recognition Award. Cowper was honoured for introducing new methods and ideas that are contributing in to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world. Cowper is the Co-founder and CEO of

In the Outstanding Woman ICT Professional category, the panel of judges named Zimkhita Buwa as the winner. This award recognised an extraordinary professional who has demonstrated proven results in their area of work within the ICT sector. Buwa is currently an Account Manager at Britehouse.

Another category that was hotly contested was the Community Builder Award. Dianne Broodryk was declared the winner, in acknowledgement of the considerable difference she has made in her community through her usage of ICT. Broodryk is the Newscast Editor at Jacaranda 94.2 FM.

The panel of judges was unanimous regarding the important role the media has played in educating the public about the ICT sector. The Excellence in ICT Journalism Award recognised a journalist who contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting. Thabiso Mochiko was named as the winner in the category. Mochiko is an ICT writer at Business Day/Financial Mail and has written extensively on ICT in her illustrious career.

Sharon Rao Farista from Harvard Business School (2015) was proclaimed as the winner of the Graduate Award. This category recognised the top ICT graduate from a tertiary institution who finished top of her class.

Last year’s awards also featured a discretionary category called the Sponsors Leadership Award. The selection of the winner of this prize was the prerogative of both the CEOs of MTN SA and Kagiso Media. The winner of the Sponsors Leadership Award was Eileen Wilton, CEO of Gijima. The judges said the award was conferred to Wilton in recognition of the role she has played over the years as a source of great inspiration to many young professionals, and in recognition of the outstanding work she has done in turning around Gijima.

The awards were independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mark Harris, Group CEO of Kagiso Media commented: “As 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 second edition of the Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards will be a catalyst that puts the ICT sector on the map, remind female professionals of the significant contributions they have made, and continue to make relevant changes in our country through telecommunications and technology.”

“Women have the power, and an instrumental role to play, in changing the gender demographics of the ICT sector. We need to create conditions where women grow to become a critical mass that will drive the agenda of an ICT sector with a heart,” concludes Bodibe.

Members of the industry, businesses and other organisations outside of the industry, mentors, teachers, lecturers and individuals are encouraged to go to to nominate phenomenal women in ICT.

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