It is clear that women have a valuable role to play in IT. Companies must be made up of diverse talents to improve business results and foster innovation. The voices of women should be heard so they can strengthen a company’s performance. We sat down with Jhan Jones, Client Manager for Enterprise Sales at Internet Solutions and this is what she had to say.
Can you name an iconic IT businesswoman who has shaped your understanding of what women can bring to the IT world and why?
Throughout my career, I have been privileged to serve and work among women who have worked hard to build a strong and talented workforce. These women remind us that you can’t practise diversity and inclusion without courage. A culture of diversity with a sense of family that shares experiences is vital to the success of our company and the ability to remain an unstoppable force in our industry. I am privileged to belong to a tribe of strong female leaders who believe in me and remind me how important it is to keep shining so other women can shine too.
Thank you to the iconic women across our organisation including Shelly Williams, Emma Barker-Goldie, Sureka Rambakus, Brigitte Standl, Lerato Lebenya, Shireen Powell, Faiza Spondonie and Soraya Bagus.
What do you think women need to accomplish to become trailblazers in their industries?
Accountability – the ability to be honest with themselves. I strive to always admit to my mistakes and take the required action to correct errors, without shame. Beliefs and attitudes that are unconsciously running our lives can negatively impact the next generation of trailblazers. As women and trailblazers, we must acknowledge what is true in ourselves so we can support what will be true for our trailblazers of the future.
Women in IT were conspicuously absent in the past. How have you seen the industry change and improve to create more opportunities for women?
I agree that women were conspicuously absent in the past. Ultimately, technology and how we consume it is reshaping human behaviour and the way we do business. We have to impact the masses to innovate, think big and drive changes that unlock exponential growth and opportunities. I believe that women display the courage and sensitivity to understand this need, and to drive the big changes that will help us thrive. Women and connectivity are the key to enabling a wider and more inclusive community to participate in digitalisation across companies and continents.
In what other aspects of the corporate environment do you think more women should be involved?
I feel that we should try harder to see, address and feel the needs of women and be more supportive of who they can be. Each experience I faced was filled with both pain and joy. The simple fact of my journey leaves me with one piece of wisdom to share - each act, in every moment of every day, has a ripple effect on me and others around me. Challenge yourself to create good opportunities - not only for yourself, but for the world that you will leave behind.
Since you’ve been in the industry for a while, what advice would you give to the new workforce entering the IT world? What are the things you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Future-proof yourself and your business in the age of exponential disruption. Make sure you scare yourself every day because unfaced fear has a way of taking what’s rightfully yours. Once you get past that, there’s a world of opportunity waiting for you. There’s so much you can choose to believe in, so why not believe in yourself?