Tinyiko Simbine

My inspiration came from my need to always help people who were less fortunate than me and when I got into the tech space, my passion was ignited when I noticed the gender gap within the ICT space through one of my best friends.

Country of origin

South Africa

Which company do you work for?

GirlCode

What is your specific area of specialisation?

Finance

How long have you been in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields?

7 years

As a woman in a male dominated industry, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Being a non-technical person, in a technical world whilst being also an entrepreneur. We all know that you can’t really study to be an entrepreneur, you learn with time, and you learn on the fly. Basically, it’s, adapt or die.

Being a female in a male dominated industry adds more pressure and you also get to experience not so fun things such as imposter syndrome and it’s something you battle with a lot. Especially being a female and being non-technical. How I have overcame this challenge, is by constantly challenging myself. I constantly upskill myself and ensure that I don’t stop evolving in order to thrive in this sector. And one of the amazing things about the tech space is that the possibilities are endless. I am also a firm believer that you need to be the change you want to see. So, I use my passion as a driving force in pursuing my dream because not only do I get to do what I love but I also get to change lives while doing it. For me there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that I contributed towards changing someone’s life, forever.

What inspired you to join this industry?

My inspiration came from my need to always help people who were less fortunate than me and when I got into the tech space, my passion was ignited when I noticed the gender gap within the ICT space through one of my best friends. After working for a tech company, the gender gap became even more evident for me and I saw the need to address this gender gap problem while also bridging the digital divide that is causing the less fortunate to get left behind in this fast-paced technology driven reality that we are currently faced with.

What changes, if any, have you seen in your field with regards to women in your field?

More and more women are coming up in their careers in this field and they are not coming up alone, they are bringing other women up with them. A lot of women have also become very vocal about their journeys and use this to inspire other women. I have also seen an increase in female graduates.

How can we attract more women to consider a career in the STEM fields?

We need to showcase more women who are doing great things in STEM. We also need to focus on teaching young girls from an early age that anything is possible and start exposing them to the technology at a young age so that they can be familiar with it as well as comfortable with exploring it

If you were to advise other young women starting their careers in the tech or within the STEM fields, what is the one thing you would say to them?

Representation matters. STEM needs you.

When not working, what do you do for fun?

I really love the outdoors so generally I do a lot of outdoor activities like hiking and quad biking.

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