Woman in Innovation: Brynn Gerson, Dube iConnect

Brynn Gerson, Dube iConnect Manager talks about her career and opportunities for young women in the ICT sector.

Brynn Gerson, Dube iConnect Manager

As an ICT professional, innovation has always gone hand-in-hand with increasing the number of opportunities that are available to us, be it in the way we do our work and even on a personal level.

Innovation represents a shift in progress, from a business perspective I have been fortunate to witness several technical innovations since beginning my career 28 years ago, however, what has also changed in that time are the general attitudes on the role of woman in this sector.

Looking back to my high school career in the late 1980s, my teachers were surprised when I insisted on wanting to pursue a more challenging academic stream that included advanced mathematics and computer studies, straying away from the more conventional female-orientated path of typing and the like which was encouraged of a many young woman at the time.

As a woman, I have had to find my own way through this male-dominated world of ICT, so I am glad that Dube iConnect has been able to play a small part in inspiring young women to fully embrace the possibilities that await them in this industry, through our involvement with local initiatives which focus on the development of STEM amongst young women in KZN. Witnessing the passion of the young women, with whom I am fortunate to work, and knowing that they are gearing up to lead our country into the 4th Industrial Revolution, makes me so excited for the future that lies ahead.

Today, there are a lot more opportunities for a young woman in the ICT sector. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being in a position to work with several entrepreneurs from various backgrounds, upskilling and capacitating them to be able to participate more meaningfully and gainfully in the ICT sector.

With the ubiquity of cloud computing, we have been able to offer ongoing training and support to small and micro-enterprises, enabling young black men and woman to create thriving businesses that have the potential to compete directly with established telecommunications companies in providing hosted services.

Two years ago, this direct support resulted in a consortium of micro-enterprises that operate within the Dube iConnect Reseller Programme winning a tender to roll-out broadband as part of the SA Connect initiative.

I strongly believe that these types of interpersonal shifts in attitudes create more opportunities for a diversity of people and ideas, which fuel innovation.