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For Tackling Gender Disparity in the Technology Sector – Tinyiko Simbine

Tinyiko Simbine is the co-founder of GirlCode,

an organisation that focuses on equipping girl children and women with coding skills in order to empower and position them for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the digital world of work.

Together with her co-founding team, Simbine continues to steer the organisation to achieving generational milestones and curative the narrative about women empowerment in the ICT sector.

Simbine’s authenticity as a modern leader shines through her commitment. She despises micro-managing her team and prefers a calmer and more sympathetic approach to guiding her team through the organisation’s projects. “That is the reason I prefer to hire the right people for the job, people I can trust and depend on. People who can learn from me and I can also learn from,” she says. “Leadership is a two-way street.I am an active listener and strive on inspiring performance from my team. I am a very transparent and honest individual.” Simbine understands that one of the responsibilities for modern leaders includes implementing a leadership style that allows sub-ordinates to be in charge of their respective roles, permitting them to lead within the set perimetres. She points out that this cultivates an environment where individuals can be creative and innovative in how they approach their roles and the overall projects they are assigned to.

Modern leaders are open to learning

 When a leader has an open line of communication, they create a bilateral channel of exchanging views and aligning themselves to learn from their subordinates. According to Simbine, this is an important trait that modern leaders needs to have and nurture. This not only allows those in authority to learn, but it also helps breed leadership skills in those that are being led. The world (including commercial and social environments) is undergoing drastic changes in at attempt to adjust to the new normal that resulted from the pandemic. This pushes modern leaders to be in constant search of new ways of driving their organisations towards this new change. Simbine and her team are riding this wave. “We have set clear goals for our organisation and shared them with the team. We are leveraging off social media to get advice from other young leaders. I am constantly learning and understand that I don’t have all of the answers. Sharing ideas is also important,” she says. “I also lean on my mentor. Mentor-ship has helped to groom me into the young leader I am today. Guidance from an experienced individual will help you level up so much.”

Attributes of modern leaders

 Modern leaders should prioritise personal development at every stage of their leadership journey. This must be linked to the development of those they lead. Simbine states that leaders that strive for means to constantly improve have an edge over those that do not. She says that in order to encourage strategic thinking in organisations, modern leaders need to be transparent and practice active listening. “An understanding of who you are and your performance is very important, the two need to work hand in hand. A reconciliation of your identity and your capabilities will help enhance your performance as a modern leader,” she says. “The biggest challenge we face is lack of support, there are still too many gatekeepers in leadership positions.” Simbine is inspired by Phuti Mahanyele’s appointment at the helm of Naspers, and how she has managed to impact the scale of the company’s investment in technology initiatives in the country. “Being a woman in tech and one of the leaders in this space, it’s important to have other female leaders pave the way for us young leaders, so we can pay it forward to the next generation.”

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