The annual Innovation Masterclass aims to empower young females to learn about the STEM field and consider careers in this industry.


With the world continually revolving and technology rapidly changing the landscape, all industries today actively function in the 4th industrial revolution. This era is set to be a redirection for many and change has officially knocked on the doors. Uber recognises this and has welcomed this revolution to empower the female youth of South Africa.

Uber in partnership with Qhakaza Girl IT, a non-profit organisation working on building #womenintech in South Africa, had the honour to invite 120 students in Grade 11 and 12 from underprivileged schools in Durban to attend the 3rd Annual Innovation Masterclass at the Durban Botanical Gardens. The Masterclasses aimed at connecting the youth to career advice and opportunities and with this year’s theme solely focusing on Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field.

According to Women in Technology South Africa, only 23% of technological jobs are held by women, and of 236 000 Information Communication Technology (ICT) jobs women only occupy 56 000, respectively. This exemplifies how little recognition and opportunity women in South Africa are given in such a highly acclaimed industry.

The pair has advocated for women empowerment in the STEM field and through the Masterclass were able to effectively connect young female learners to a bevvy of information and networking opportunities. The Masterclass provided these talented young ladies with the opportunity to learn about the STEM industry, by connecting with experts and ended off by them building their own drones, which could be taken back to their schools to explore with the rest of the students and teachers.

Yolisa Kani, Head of Public Policy at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, was so inspired from her visit to the San Francisco Uber Head Offices a few years back, that she felt South Africa needed to be on par and thus designed the masterclass to inspire the youth to think and engage on that critical STEM level.

General Manager, Alon Lits, had this to say about the masterclass,

“The day was focused on giving back and engaging with students about how Uber operates and what kind of careers one can venture into in the STEM field. More importantly, to give a sense of the opportunities and innovation that is out there for young people.”

With a multitude of guest speakers, one of the most prominent included Flippage, who is the first South African black male to create his own smartphone. Flippage served as a mentor to those in attendance that age and privilege are not defining factors when wanting to create change or chase dreams. The SchoolsNet Youth Spark programme ran parallel to the Innovation Masterclass, which aimed at encouraging other teachers to inspire their students to use critical and innovative thinking in the STEM Field.

With immense talent, a copious amount of knowledge and fresh faces, these young ladies are poised to take the 4th industrial revolution by the reigns and steer South Africa into an age of powerful women leaders.

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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