Celebrating leading women in ICT
Huawei Celebrates Women’s Month with inspiring stories from women making it in ICT
Message from Huawei South Africa CEO Steven Wu:
"Every August, South Africa commemorates Women’s Month as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of pass laws to women. During the month of August government, business and civil society focuses on emphasizing, amongst others, the need to empower women and also to acknowledge the very important role they play in society. Huawei acknowledges the role of the many women within our organization who contribute passionately to the company’s vision of closing the digital divide. As a leading global ICT solutions provider, Huawei South Africa’s women’s empowerment strategy is further aimed at placing women in leadership roles and increasing the participation of women in the ICT industry. We believe that the empowerment of women is critical for economic growth and poverty alleviation. Our emphasis is on recruitment, training and mentoring female employees so as to increase the number of women professionals taking part and working in the ICT industry.
We wish you a wonderful Women’s Month."
ROSE MOYO : Director Enterprise Wireless Solutions (Southern Africa Region)
I started working at Huawei in January 2011. I am currently responsible for business development and sales for the wireless solutions for vertical industries like government, mining and energy. I am a professional engineer with experience in Telecommunications Project Management, Business Development, Solutions Design and ICT Regulation. My academic background includes a Masters in Engineering and Honours degree in Electronics Engineering. I am a member of professional bodies, the IEEE and the Institute of Director Southern Africa (IDoSA).
As a woman working in ICT, what is the most interesting part of your job?
For me it’s the continuous improvement and learning journey; one has to stay abreast with the fast and ever-changing pace of the ICT industry. It relates back to self-discovery and your ability to adjust and adapt; what’s fascinating for me is staying ahead, anticipating new technologies which can address the social and economic challenges in the world.
As a manager I try to focus on bringing out the best in people, and using their strengths to make a positive contribution. In addition I believe our diversity is key; we complement each other to achieve best for the company as well as the society at large. ICT is an integral part of every aspect of our lives today, the need for appropriate solutions to address the diverse requirements is the role of every individual in society as we are all stakeholders of this complex system.
What is your quote for Women’s Month?
Every day offers one an opportunity for change; be it making progress, changing the course of life, career or correcting your mistakes…. I believe in continual learning and self-improvement.
I started working at Huawei in 2013. I am responsible for EHS management from the very start of the bidding phase right through to project delivery. My goal is to maintain Huawei’s international certification, fulfill client EHS requirements, implement Huawei EHS governance standards and, ensure Huawei complies with South African EHS legislation. My role involves ensuring that our clients, partners and my colleagues develop trust in me and have the freedom to approach me with confidence that I will give full attention to any EHS concerns or requirements. I lead a team of 20 EHS staff and ensure my department implements stringent contractor management processes. I also strive to ensure my team and I provide the highest quality of service and support to the delivery teams and stakeholders.
The dynamic, unconventional and agile environment of this industry keeps me on my toes. Huawei has offered me grand opportunities to expand my capabilities beyond what I had ever imagined. I am constantly reaching new heights in all aspects of my career. Moreover the most important aspect is having the privilege to see the change in people’s mindsets and approach towards EHS, viewing it as an integral part of their day to day lives. I am relationship builder and I take a keen interest in all stakeholders within the chain of delivery implementation. I was honored in 2016 to be appointed as the EHS manager for South Africa in the South African implementation team. Coupled with the future star medal I received, the recognition reaffirms my conviction in the significance of my role in safeguarding our company’s and partners most priced assets, “People”.
I hold people’s health and safety and the environment they operate in, in high regard during our project roll-outs. I want to make sure we are able to send people back home to their loved ones in the same condition that they reported for duty. I am firmly grounded and constantly uphold Huawei’s core values. I lead by example in maintaining my integrity and always keep my focus on my important role in the industry. In 2014 I initiated a Telecommunications EHS consortium which aimed to join all South African Telecommunications giants and create one EHS voice that would represent the entire ICT industry. It has been very exciting for me to see it evolve and I am keen to see my goal realised in the very near future.
This is my everyday quote for safety: “Safety Depends on YOU”
I started at Huawei Enterprise in March 2011. Prior to this, I was working as the brand and events manager for the Huawei Carrier Business Group for two years. My main responsibility is to develop and manage comprehensive integrated marketing communications campaigns for the Huawei Enterprise Business Group, across the Sub-Saharan region. I manage all campaign components including development, planning, implementation and measurement; I make sure that all communications efforts – public relations, social media, media planning and buying, electronic direct mailers – yield the necessary return on investment required. I research industry trends and communication engagement tools, and use them within targeted IMC campaigns to implement promotional campaigns consistently. To gain brand leadership in a very competitive market, I firmly believe that one must engage in creative disruption in order to distinguish themselves. This involves consistent adaptation of brand interaction to align with target audience behavior, be it in the form of brand communication or relationship-building.
The most interesting part of my job would be learning about the latest technology trends as well as the latest innovations. Technologies such as IoT and network or distribution automation are poised to become more commonplace in the coming years. This is exciting as they will form the vital foundation required to springboard concepts such as safer, smarter cities; smarter railways; smarter manufacturing and smarter healthcare. Big data storage, big data analytics and consequently cloud computing will all play a necessary role in this evolution. To be able to partake in the promotion of such technologies combined with creative campaign approaches makes this career very fulfilling.
Marketing and communication is about changing and managing brand perceptions, not only within the industry, but also within the workplace. I feel privileged to be part of a dynamic team within a leading global ICT company which, in just a few short years, has been instrumental in uplifting cross-cultural impressions to develop a positive brand equity for Huawei Enterprise within the market, as well as within the company. As a South African-born Chinese, I was privy to both eastern and western education, and this has allowed me to make a difference by bridging the cultural divide through various communication strategies.
“Don’t be afraid of being outnumbered. Eagles fly alone. Pigeons flock together.”
NOMFUNDO NYAKANE: Project Control Manager and Administrator – Huawei Learning Services
I started working at Huawei on the 3rd of June 2013 as a temp; in December that year, I was transferred to work at Huawei Learning Services as a Project Control Manager and Administrator based on my previous experience in training, sales and marketing. My passion lies in working with young people who are eager to make something of themselves. That’s the most fulfilling part of my job which spans various functions and departments within Huawei. Huawei’s training centre delivers crucial ICT skills and expertise to thousands of sub-contractors, customers, staff and local students.
As a woman in ICT, it is a huge challenge, the environment is competitive and due to this it requires long hours, multi-tasking, etc. I had never been exposed to the ICT industry until I started working for Huawei, thus continuous learning is a must. I have had to learn to self - manage myself to get work life balance.
I am very proud to be associated with delivering key skills in a sector with such a shortage of professionals. Some of my colleagues tease me that I am a one stop shop (The go to person with regards to the training Centre). However, it requires a lot of dedication and I accept every challenge as it comes. The strongest impact I have made in the industry is my involvement in the internship program, which to date has trained 200 ICT students. I have witnessed how Huawei has made a difference in young people’s lives and I have followed their progress with great pride.
“ To be or Not to Be…….is the question” For me it means to be the best I can be or not……I have chosen to be, being good is not good enough, for me I can only be the best I can BE
DIMPHO MARICA SAANE: FF (Fulfillment) Buyer Supply Chain
I started working for Huawei on the 1st of September 2016 within the Supply Chain department as a local Buyer. My role involves the sourcing and procurement of material required to build network sites for our customer, MTN. I liaise with various suppliers and sub-contractors and ensure that the supply and demand gap is met to ensure site builds run smoothly without any delay of the project. My job is very challenging and there is never a moment when you are just sitting doing nothing. I have an Honours degree in Development Management and attended the Huawei- MICT SETA FTTH internship programme. I was employed by Huawei on completing the course. I see myself growing within this company especially in my department. I see myself becoming one of the material demand Planners and eventually taking the role of the Supply chain manager. Most of the managers here are men and it will be such a great achievement to be a local female manager.
ICT is a dynamic and fast moving field. Working in this field keeps you constantly on your feet and requires you to be always be up to date with the latest technologies. I really enjoy this role as I am learning new things almost on a daily basis. I support the project teams to ensure they meet their targets. However since ICT is usually a male dominated field I constantly have to prove myself and more especially since am the youngest in my department and also a woman. I always need to prove that anything that a man can do, I can do it even better.
A Buyer’s role to me is the heart of the organization as you are the main point of contact for your company and the supplier and vice versa. Buyers need to build up strong and trusting relationships with suppliers. If they fail to do this, then the supply chain can become weak and can put project delivery at risk. So buyers need to work with the suppliers to make sure that they can deliver the materials on a continuous basis. Buyers have to be aware of quality issues and not allow price to outweigh the acquisition of the best products. Buyers also have to be mindful of how things can change in the market place, with new products coming out constantly. The role of a buyer is therefore one that is relatively multi-faceted and one that is often quite challenging and can be at times, relatively stressful, but ultimately quite a rewarding.
Women need to believe in the purpose of the work they are doing. “Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector SA”
SHUMBISAI MUTANGADURA: BEE Manager
I started working at Huawei in July 2013. My role is to ensure transformation as far as Black Economic Empowerment is concerned. I ensure that we maintain our BEE Level and remain competitive in the market. As much as BEE has a commercial advantage, we strive to ensure that we are involved in staff and community development.
The challenges, dynamics and fast moving pace of the sector always gives me an adrenaline rush. Every day is a new and thrilling experience. Through my Skills Development portfolio, we have managed to get more women into our internship programme. These women have been placed in the field and are given equal opportunities as their male counterparts.
My role contributes positively to the industry and the workplace. As a passion, true transformation is more fulfilling than, points on a BEE Scorecard. Our team strives to make difference in people’s lives. Currently we have a Learnership for Black women with disabilities who live in rural KZN. It is amazing to note how much they have blossomed during the Learnership. Even though the Learnership is very basic, as they all only have a matric qualification, this has had an impact on their socio-economic status.