Bryanston-based software solutions company Reverside has received praise for nurturing and empowering female talent in the information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The company, which has been in existence for over 15 years, has been increasingly promoting initiatives that encourage female talent to join the ICT sector, saying the country is in urgent need of diverse skills that will drive the economy.
Reverside runs Geeks4Learning an accredited training academy that aims to prepare the next generation for exciting careers in the in the ICT industry.
The academy is a consequence of a Reverside programme called #SkillsRevolution to combat the rising levels of youth unemployment and skills shortages in the ICT industry.
Dealing with the gender imbalance in the ICT sector has been a matter of concern in SA as calls have been made urging companies to create opportunities for women to enter the sector, an agenda Reverside has been promoting.
Beneficiaries of Reverside’s benevolence have hailed the company’s initiatives that are dismantling barriers to gender equality in ICT.
“I attended school at Richfield Graduate Institute where I received my Diploma in IT and soon after graduation Reverside gave me an opportunity,” Nomsa Nijkelana – Reverside consultant – Automation Tester
“I started in boot camp as a Software Tester, where they provided training for both Automation and Manual Testing. After 2 months, I was then hired as an Intern. I worked on an inhouse project for a Travel website, where I did manual testing and a bit of API testing.
“I have also had the opportunity to work at the Reverside offices in Cape Town. I also received training at Reverside for RPA, so I could broaden my skills. I am now working for a Capital marketing company as an Automation Test Analyst”.
Nijkelana says there is always something new to learn, and Reverside has been pioneering initiatives that benefit women who face various challenges in the ICT sector.
“I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who are all for female empowerment (both men and women). I have received tremendous support in the industry, and it hasn’t been a challenge, at all. It also helps that the company I work for does have great role models that are female leaders,” says NijKelana.
For Kanya Mishra, Reverside Consultant and Senior Test Analyst, it has always been a challenge for females to position themselves in any industry for decades, let alone ICT and those barriers are now being dismantled through initiatives like those by Reverside to empower women.
She says: “I believe that there is enough space for women in this industry. The basic formula is to be knowledgeable enough in whatever skill set you have and keep yourself updated with changing technology is the key to success.
“”We can get young girls to do these kinds of jobs in ICT or technology by providing training in the right skill set as per market requirements. It takes only a couple of months for a positively motivated candidate to start delivering results.”
Detailing her personal vision for the ICT sector in Africa, and what she wants to see happening, Mishra says: “Firstly we need to ensure that the education sector is beefed up, and students are subjected to relevant courses which makes them confident and knowledgeable.
“They need to go through the grind during their study years which would definitely help them secure a future in the ICT industry and further strengthen the industry to take up a bigger and more meaningful role in nation building.
“Secondly – training (both formal and in-formal) are critical to ensure that you get abundant resources who can deliver and be productive in the ICT industry.
“Currently Africa is facing a great shortage in skills, and that’s the one biggest problem to be resolved – if we want to see the SA ICT industry competing with the best of the worlds.”