#InspiringFiftySA 2018 winners announced

After months of collecting the stories of South African women at the forefront of some of the biggest impacts in the science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) sector, the #InspiringFiftySA winners have been announced.
#InspiringFiftySA 2018 winners announcedBonnie Horbach, consul general for the Netherlands, exclaimed, “The judges had a hard time selecting the final fifty based on the high calibre of the nominees. These groundbreaking women will not only be recognised in South Africa but will form part of a global network of women. Imagine the possibilities when connecting women through this platform to: be recognised in their respective fields, share their stories and make a difference by inspiring tomorrow’s female leaders.”

This year marks the second edition of the global initiative, in collaboration with #cocreateSA, which welcomed 276 nominees at the closing of the nomination period on 9 July 2018.

In order to have met the criteria, the nominee had to be a founder of a technology company; or hold a position in a C-Level position in a technology company; or be an influencer, academic or politician in the technology or innovation space.

The winners are...

Alysia Silbergfounder at Global FiresideChat and general partner at Street Global Venture Capital
Anita Nelsenior director at Innovation of Stellenbosch University and CEO of Innovus
Annu Augustinefounder at NedRock and product management consultant
Anri van der Spuymanager at Africa Digital Policy Project
Anujah BosmanCEO at Chillisoft Solution Services (Pty) Ltd
Benedicta Mahlangu-Durcanexecutive at Ease of Doing Business and co-founder and CEO of Afrobodies Pty Ltd
Dr. Denisha Jairam-OwtharICT manager at Projects, Governance & Assets
Dr. Fanelwa Ngece Ajayifounder at AmaQawe Ngemfundo
Dr. Imogen Wrightchief scientific officer at Hyrax Biosciences
Dr. Rethabile Mashale Sonibaredirector and founder at Molo Mhlaba School for Girls & Thope Foundation
Genevieve Mannelhead of BI and EKM at TFG (The Foschini Group)
Heloise Greeffco-inventor and machine learning engineer at Oxford Smart Handpump
Kholeka TsotsotsoCIO at Development Bank of South Africa
Kiara Nirghinstudent at Stanford University 
Laura Ilungahelicopter and airplane pilot at Starlite Aviation Operations and Crew Resources International
Leah Molatselifounder and MD at Lenoma Legal
Lebo Mokgabudimanaging director at EagleQuest Africa
Lehlogonolo Moserifounding director at Mosa Environmental Consulting and Educate-A-Girl Foundation
Lerato Motsamaifounder and CEO at Petrolink and Girlignite Africa Academy
Lesley Donna WilliamsCEO at Tshimologong Precinct
Lianne du Toitbusiness director at YPO, CareDirect, Future Females
Lorraine steyndirector at Khanyisa real systems
Lungile Mailefounder and managing director at Nubian Smarts
Mamokgethi Phakengvice chancellor at University of Cape Town
Marilyn RadebeCEO at Soma Solutions
Maureen Ann Grosvenordirector and head of custom applications at Appsolve
Mmabatho Mokitifounder and CEO at Mathemaniacs
Nadia KarrimENT/Head and Neck Surgical Registrar; South African National Point of Contact at Department of Health; Space Generation Advisory Council
Nandi Zamacommander pilot at South African Air Force
Noletu Motichief inspector: Nuclear Power Plant at National Nuclear Regulator
Nomsa Ntelekomanaging director at OS Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Palesa Sibekocommercialisation young professional and MSc Astrophysics student at South African Radio Astronomy Observatory/University of the Western Cape
Pam Mkhizehead of sub-Saharan Africa Digital Satellite at Enel
Phuti RagophalaMicrosoft Innovative educator trainer at Phuti Training and motivational speaking
Professor Keolebogile Shirley Motaungassistant dean: Research and Entrepreneur at Tshwane University of Technology/Global Health Biotech (PTY) LTD
Professor Glenda Graypresident and CEO at South African Medical Research Council
Refilwe Ledwabafounder and executive director at Women and Aviation/Girls fly programme in Africa
Ridhwana Khanco-founder of Zero One Bespoke Software Development at Zero One Bespoke Software Development, Kasi Maths, Women in Tech JHB, Ladies that UX JHB
Rivonia Pillaywater Engineer at department of Water and Sanitation
Samantha N. Ngcolombafounder and manager at Lady Liberty SA
Sandiso SibisiOpen Innovation Africa Africa manager at Accenture
Shana DermanCEO and co-founder at IntelliCred
Sonya Kuhnelmanaging director at Blockchain Academy
Sorene Assefafounder and managing director at Cyber Czar (Pty) Ltd
Veronica Motloutsichief executive and founder at SmartDigital Solution
Yolisa Skwintshihead of technology at Absa Bank
Zandile Keebinechairperson at GirlCode
Zarina Ebrahimmanaging director and founder at Nebula Designs
Zimkhita Buwachief operating officer at Britehouse
Zinhle Mpungosemanaging director at Digi Change Guru

“As we honour the winners of Inspiring Fifty for 2018, I think it would be opportune also to honour the woman who upon learning of this campaign, not only brought it to us but also championed it in South Africa! Bonnie Horbach leaves a country filled with gratitude, she leaves a sisterhood of women who are not only affirmed but are able to affirm one another, secure in their excellence and secure that recognising others does not dim their own light! said Carol Bouwer, Inspiring Fifty 2018 judge, businesswoman and UNICEF SA Advocate for Women and Children.

“I hope in 50 years to come we celebrate this campaign as a relic of the past because women will have attained the kind of equality and respect that makes recognition organic! We will miss you Bonnie but thank you for your light- here’s to our Fifty Inspiring women and the generations of women who draw inspiration from them,” said Bouwer.

“These fifty women will go on to inspire and encourage both young girls and boys in this country and showcase the opportunities that they may not have realised were available to them. It is an exciting time for women in STEM in South Africa,” concluded Horbach.

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