24 June 2017 marked D-Day for nominations and an incredible 252 female candidates were nominated for Inspiring Fifty South Africa. “The caliber of women is amazing and the project has reached so many different fields,” according to project manager, Chantal Louw.
The nominees are showcasing a broad spectrum of skills; 29 are academics; 76 hold C-Level positions; 87 are founders of technology or innovation organisations; 3 are in government/politicians, 2 are analysts; 37 are key influencers and 18 hold other roles in the relevant sectors.
Inspiring Fifty was initiated by Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters from the Netherlands and has since been realized in the Netherlands, Europe, France and the Nordics. “The initiative aims to prove the philosophy that ‘if she can see it, she can be it’ therefore, we are excited about all these women who have been given the opportunity to create awareness of their roles in the technology and innovation sectors and encourage more women to join the force”, says Janneke.
Bonnie Horbach, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, adopted the concept, hosting the first platform for inspiring women in technology outside of Europe. “I am extremely excited about the number of nominees, but not surprised. If you look around you, we are surrounded by the talent of young men and women here in South Africa”, says Horbach.
The nominees stem from many regions throughout the country: 124 from Cape Town, 113 from Johannesburg, 1 from the Eastern Cape, 9 from Kwa-Zulu Natal and 5 South Africans working internationally.
Horbach believes: “These women are inspiring role models for the future; Inspiring Fifty South Africa allows us to create a platform for them in technology, showing our girls that they can do the same.” South Africa’s most Inspiring Fifty women in the technology and innovation sectors will be announced on 9 August 2017, perfectly coinciding with South Africa’s Women’s Day.