female scientists in fulltime and part-time jobs.
“Institutions that don’t train their female professionals perpetuate the narrative that women occupy executive positions because of affirmative action. Also, institutions have to confront a culture of harassment in their spaces. A woman can be a successful scientist whether she is married or not,” said Fayemiwo, citing her difficult journey as a postgraduate student in the sciences. Madikizela, a qualified chartered accountant, said that education is important for changing people’s livelihoods and families. She said that although the 4IR was important, “it is not about the technological tools it offers to people, it is the belief systems that people have to employ to drive them to achieve their goals”, she said. Dibakwane cited the social and class differences among South Africans, saying that the inequalities that exist prohibited certain race groups from fair economic participation. Tbo Touch spoke about the challenges that South African entrepreneurs endure because of not owning and controlling the value chain. “With the buying power black people have, we still can’t control the economic power. Our economy is run from the back end. The celebrities that are seen as owning brands in South Africa benefit less from the value chain because they do not own the means of production,” he said. “If South Africans were to emerge out of the economic problems, leaders should not use the word ‘transformation’ loosely. We should confront the policies; we cannot afford to have one sector deciding what happens to us,” he said.
Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
making in machines is crucial for the benefit of human beings. Although 4IR will make some jobs obsolete, it is also going to change the nature of jobs people know now and different new jobs will emerge. To be fit for future jobs, present and upcoming graduates needed to take courses that are multidisciplinary to skill themselves in different fields, Marwala said. “The convergence of humans and machines is important. So, let us not be afraid of technology, we need to embrace it,” he said, adding that people needed to study subjects they are passionate about.
Frahm-Arp also shared insights on how the use of technology in the university’s library had helped staff improve their customer care service when dealing with students. “Our staff can now shelve books faster and better and help students find books at a touch of a button. We see this 4IR as an ‘information revolution’ – this means that with the information accessible via our digital devices, we are able to solve problems by being creative and choosing our own pathways to learn,” said Frahm-Arp. Fayemiwo highlighted the impor- tance of empowering women in career fields that are male dominated. There are only 29.1% of
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