Dynamic DNA’s Prudence Mathebula’s 4IR 4HER initiative seeks to nurture and empower women to redress the gender imbalance that exists within the ICT industry. 4IR4HER refers to ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution for Her’ and is aimed at fighting youth unemployment among women by upskilling them specifically with skills that are aligned with 4IR. Inspired Testing has been a proud sponsor of 4IR 4HER for the last two years and will continue in 2023.
Inspired Testing strongly believes in making way for people’s potential through continuous learning, and their contribution shows their commitment to skills development at a grassroots level. In 2022, their donation went towards the upskilling of 25 learners through a three-month Information Technology: Systems Development NQF Level 5 programme. In addition, the women earned three internationally recognized certifications: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals, and Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure.
“We’ve been supporting 4IR 4HER for the past three years,” comments Inspired Testing COO Lucas Scheepers. “As a technology company, we are keenly aware of the impact of the skills shortage on the industry. We need to grow these skills and fill these gaps in any way possible – especially for women who are often still left behind.”
The training offered to these women is based on a precise understanding of the training needs within the industry, ensuring that the women are equipped with sought-after skills in the 4IR. The training was delivered using a hybrid approach encompassing 2 days of face-to-face instruction and 3 days of online learning. The Systems Development qualification aims to prepare learners to work in areas of System Development with intermediate technical complexity.
“As a female in a male-dominated industry, 4IR 4HER opens many doors for me,” explains 24-year-old Caley Stephenson. “It provides a platform to enhance the skills that will allow me to go anywhere in the world.”
Fellow student Nkhumbuleni Mudzanani agrees: “4IR 4HER gives me exposure to the technology industry. The Systems Development programme taught me many different coding languages, and I was able to design and build a fully functional website, which I enjoyed very much.”
Amukelani Khoza is making the most of this opportunity. “4IR 4HER has opened a door for me as I couldn’t go to university due to financial difficulties. I enter the classroom every day with a winner’s mentality, and soon I’ll be placed for workplace experience. I’m looking forward to further empowering and developing myself with 4IR 4HER.”
“I started the 4IR4Her movement to empower women in ICT in a very real way,” notes Dynamic DNA Managing Director and 4IR 4HER co-founder Prudence Mathebula. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, or Industry 4.0 refers to the rapid change to technology, industries, and societal patterns we see due to increasing interconnectivity and smart automation.
“4IR is potentially powerful and could provide women with the opportunity to compete in the knowledge economy. However, this only happens if adequate attention is paid to existing gender divisions and equal opportunities are assured.
“Being from humble beginnings myself, I believe in shaping the future and enriching lives by developing and empowering young black women by both giving access to education and showing what is possible in my career.
“When people look at black women’s excellence, they want to see a picture. There is a gap for women to take on powerful positions in business, in the technology sector and in entrepreneurship and yet we see only a few successful women who have made it in the industry. I want to change the narrative for young women to one where you do not need to be interlinked to a man to become successful.”
Inspired Testing proudly supports the change that 4IR 4HER is bringing into these young women’s lives. This illustrates its commitment to helping people develop to their full potential, regardless of their gender or background. Within Inspired Testing, this is done through personalised career maps and a multitude of training opportunities, while 4IR 4HER enables them to pursue this goal even outside the company.