You recently developed a mobile app. Could you tell me more about it?
Yes, LocTransie mobile app was launched early July 2019. The app was developed to address social issues i.e. safety, environmental issues, comfort and peace of mind. Parents, who use scholar transport, are always worried if their kids arrived safely at school and if they were dropped off at home on time in the afternoons.
How did you get into the ICT arena?
The LocTransie scholar transport tracker puts parents at ease through the push notification functionality. Parents get notifications from both the scholar driver and the school who participate with the app. The types of notifications include pick-up, drop-off, received and dismissal from school.
As for environmental issues addressed by the app, parents will now be more open to using a scholar transport system that will lead to less traffic at schools and roads, as well as drastically reducing the overall carbon footprint. The app can also be used by sports academies to manage their trips as well for school excursions.
I used to admire my late brother who was an IT technician. His first job came with a package of a “pager” (this was before cellphones era) and a new car. By then, I was working for a bank and doing my first year of B.Compt.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My late brother. I asked for his opinion if it will be wise for me to change the degree I was doing (B.Compt) to B.Com Informatics, which was then just introduced at UNISA. He encouraged me to change it, provided I focus on software development because that’s where the money was and still is. I’m glad I took his advice!
What advice do you have for the future generation of women wanting to get into the tech space?
Women are great implementers and pay attention to detail. The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires women on the forefront to maximise on this ‘attention to detail’ trait. I believe that women will have a strong role to play in the science, technology and engineering spaces.
Are South African women getting enough of a chance to shine in the tech industry?
Nope, women are expected to be the spectators of men as they excel in the corporate space. On the other hand, women are perceived to be less committed to making it the tech industry due to the unwillingness to have late meetings. This is interpreted as not taking our work seriously and always worried about our kids.
Could you list a few, if any, specific challenges females face in this industry?
We are expected to be permanent spectators when it comes to ICT innovations. There is still a massive gender inequality that exists in this industry.
What is your advice in overcoming these challenges?
- Recruit more women in the IT space
- Be on the forefront in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) space
- Join and participate in women IT-related networks such as Women in Data, Business Women in IT, African Women in IT. These forums tend to unleash the potential and power of women. We must also expose our girl children to these kinds of networks at the early stages of their lives.
- Support mentorship programmes for girls so they are not intimidated by STEM. Read more here
By: Evan-Lee Courie