By Lisa Venter, Head of Delivery

August in South Africa is known as women’s month, a time to celebrate the contributions women have made to society, technology and computer science. Synetec is a workplace that supports diversity, equality and is an inclusive workplace for all. We’re proud of our diverse workforce and believe this is core to our ability to deliver the best service to our customers – drawing on the rich experience and culture that diversity brings to our organisation. As a South African I’d like to reflect on the achievements of one such South African woman, Barbara Mallinson

Barbara’s Idea of Success

Barbara Mallinson studied for a BSc at the University of Cape Town, and then went to London, where she dabbled in digital marketing and launched a few websites. With her own savings, support from friends, and the backing of a UK Government Grant, she launched Obami, a social networking site that’s been developed specifically for schools and to facilitate e-learning.

Barbara wanted to return to South and made a few modifications to Obami platform and began to roll it out as social networking sites for schools, with the ultimate aim of uplifting South African education. It was the ideal time to introduce this platform to South Africa and the rest of Africa, as mobile and broadband was accessible and social media sites prevalent.

Obami is now a learning solutions company, developed from scratch to help organisations make the most of their human talent. Obami has enjoyed many successes and accolades. It was recognised as one of the ‘Top 10 Most Innovative Technologies in the World’ in 2011 and was identified as one of the ‘Top 20 Startups in Africa’ by Forbes a year later. Mallinson has been branded an IT Hero, one of Cape Town’s Top 10 Women in Business, as well as one of the top African women in business. She is also the only African sitting on the advisory board for the Mobile World Capital, a global initiative driven by the City of Barcelona and the GSMA.

This initiative started as a small idea and grew into a life changing platform for school children across Africa and Europe. We encourage all the women out there to be bold and courageous and follow through on these ideas.

Want to know more about Barbara?

IT Web South Africa
Barbara Mallinson’s personal website
The Legacy Project
Brand South Africa

Image source – Tech Central