Girls in ICT
An Interview with Fanisa Mkansi
Usually, when we hear or speak about new technology, we automatically assume that there must be a man behind the innovation.
However, women have played a vital role in the development of technology and ICT. From Ada Lovelace, the “First Programmer” who foresaw the rise of the computer almost two hundred years ago; to Margaret Hamilton whose code let a man land on the moon for the first time.
In this article, we spoke to Fanisa Mkansi about her journey becoming an IT facilitator and her advice for other women interested in carrying on this proud legacy.
How did your teaching career start?
“It started when I was in grade 10, we used to do Mathematics, so after school, I used to sit down with the other students and then assist them with Mathematics. Sometimes they would come to my place at home for assistance.
Another thing that pushed me towards teaching/facilitating is that my sister’s mom is a teacher. She was teaching Mathematics at her school, so she used to take me with her most of the time on Saturdays and Sundays as she used to conduct classes for learners who are behind, so I also used to assist her with those learners.”
How did you come about being an IT Facilitator?
“It started when I was in college, but my aim was not to become a facilitator; I was just volunteering to assist students in college with IT, especially new students.
I used to facilitate them, basically guiding them on how the IT industry works and how to use computers, so that’s how I started loving being an IT Facilitator.
That experience helped me to see that being an IT facilitator could be my dream job one day.”
So when you got an opportunity to be an IT facilitator at ORT, how did you feel?
“Wow, I was so happy because I can say it was my first professional job that I got so it made me realize that this is the opportunity for me to grow and to learn more because ORT gave me a chance to do something that I’ve been doing for the past few years, so it was a dream come true.”
What would you say to other women considering a career in IT?
“I will say to all the ladies out there when it comes to the subject of IT; I know that most of you run away and say it’s difficult.
But what I have learned is that everything is difficult when you look at it from afar but try to understand it; by doing that, you get to see and know that IT is not that difficult as people say it is.
As long as you focus and tell yourself that you want to achieve that goal, you will achieve it.”
Thank you to Fanisa for sharing her experiences with us, and we wish her all the best in her career.
If you’d like to help more women like her fulfil their dreams of working in the ICT sector, partner with ORT SA or donate today and help us Educate for Life.