According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, gender disparity in tech is a problem the world over. The study estimates that it will take 100 years to eventually close this gap. In a male-dominated IT landscape, amidst record unemployment lows, Momentum Metropolitan has joined forces with ITvarsity to help close the gap for women looking to build a career in tech.
Through the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation, Momentum identified and facilitated the application process of ten young women from across the country to enrol in a 12-month online ITvarsity course. This one-year accredited online course will focus on app development, giving them the opportunity to complete it at their own pace and in their own space.
Momentum Metropolitan’s Portfolio Head for Youth Employment, Nkosinathi Mahlangu says, “The importance of digital in the future careers of young South Africans means that this sector needs to be more accessible, especially for young black women. It is only through partnerships like this that we are able to bridge the gap between hardship and opportunity and do so for people in need in all corners of the country, no matter how remote.”
Through the partnership ITvarsity provides the education, while Momentum extends the reach of the education’s impact. With a CSI strategic focus on youth employment, the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation has access to a vast network for organisations that work with unskilled and unemployed youth.
“This course can be accessed from anywhere in the country,” explains Mahlangu. “As long as participants have access to a device and the internet, even a young woman in the middle of Ga-Matlala in Limpopo can be given access to this opportunity.”
Through Momentum’s extensive network of NPO partners, one just so happens to be located in the middle of Limpopo. “This is the kind of reach that ITvarsity may never have had, but together we are able to widen the net and bring opportunities to all South Africans,” says Mahlangu.
Mahlangu believes the role that partnerships play in society are too often overlooked, especially where people with no access to opportunities are given a chance to participate and gather momentum on their journey to success – providing a much-needed boon to their communities but to the national economy.
Not only will these young women be on the road to attaining an industry-leading qualification, Mahlangu says the aim is to help build their careers by increasing their immediate access to opportunities in the ICT space.
He says, “The recent unemployment stats show that women, especially young black women remain the most vulnerable group in as far as employment opportunities are concerned and this partnership enables us to unlock opportunities in the IT sector to make it accessible for these women no matter where they live.”
Mahlangu firmly believes the tech and digital era needs to make space for all and that means bridging the gaps of gender and geography. “This is how we play our part to help get these talented women on their journey to success and we are proud to call ITvarsity ‘partner’ in this necessary endeavour.”