Welcome to

Beyond Imagining

In every issue of Beyond Imagining, we look at the ways in which the world around us is changing. Over the course of six issues to date,  we have explored how the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is affecting  our education and healthcare systems, our environment, our economies,  our ethical understandings of technology, and how we communicate.

In every instance, we try to give voice to the innovators behind this enormous global shift. We highlight the work of individuals who are pioneering new developments no one could have imagined a few decades ago, we talk to the South Africans who are pushing boundaries locally, and we ask for experts’ advice so that we can understand the implications of these changes better.

In this, our latest issue, we want to take this a step further, and focus specifically on the women who are being affected by 4IR, and the women who are innovating in this space.

Globally, women are vastly under-represented in fields relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which form the foundation of 4IR. According to UNESCO, less than 30% of the researchers working in STEM are women. This figure is similar in South Africa, but complicated by the fact that socio-economic issues prevent women, more than men, from completing their secondary – let alone their tertiary – educations.

Those who defy the odds, and then go on to work in areas related to 4IR, are pioneers indeed. Read on to learn more about their roles, journeys and influence.

Contents

Women and 4IR: opportunities & threats

For every opportunity that 4IR presents, there is likely a corresponding threat, and for every threat, an opportunity.

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The impact of 4IR on women at work

If there’s one thing that 4IR is not, it’s cut and dry.  This is a revolution of both/and, rather than either/or, a revolution of pros and cons…

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How women will transition into the 4IR workplace

In June 2019, the McKinsey Global Institute published a report called, “The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation”.

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Science & technology: Two sides of the same coin

Professor Debra Meyer is the Executive Dean of Science at UJ, and someone who works closely with the interplay between science and 4IR.

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Four inspiring African women working in 4IR

One of the most important factors in ensuring that women succeed in academia and the workplace…

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Policy perspectives

In 2019, the Department of Science and Innovation published one of the most advanced white papers produced by the South African government to date.

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Learning in a pandemic: the women who worked for success

“So much happened last year; I don’t really know where to start,” UJ student Jacqueline Luhlanga says hesitantly.

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4IR solutions for women by women

If the people who experience certain challenges are the same people who develop solutions to address these challenges…

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