It is no secret that in the tech world, women are only a handful as compared to men. That’s what makes the accomplishments of the women within the industry inspiring. In a world that historically taught black women that they don’t belong in STEM related industries, Keitumetse Mogoase became a visible role model to young girls that are following in her footsteps and a constant reminder that we need more women like her in industries that were previously professed to be suitable for white, cis, middle aged men.
Keitumetse broke into the industry in 2006 when she landed a graduate position in one of the leading telecommunication company. She later enrolled for technical and soft skill courses to broaden her knowledge of the industry, where she later managed to rotate in various departments until she secured a position as an Operations Manager, leading team of professionals in different countries.
“I am called an IAM Operations Manager, this entails leading a team in Germany, India and Egypt operating a Global and Enterprise Identity and Access Management system. I was led to this career by my love for Technology, Change, Digital Tools and Efficiency using Simplifying tools for communication and making lives better”.
Keitumetse’s career journey is an incredible one, from a small village of Motswedi in Zeerust in the North-West province, to becoming one of the industry leader in Düsseldorf, Germany.
“I lived a bit of my life in a village, finished high school in Soweto and completed my first degree in Cape Town.”
However, as a young black girl, it is no surprise that her journey was not a smooth one, given the fact that most black families, especially who live in the villages – are living within the low-income bracket, and thus live on the very edge of existence.
“I grew up poor however strived to not continue being poor, and got awarded a bursary with what was then called Spoornet for my first BSc (Computer Science) degree. I aspired to make a change in my life, have an engaging career and send the elevator back”.
While her love and passion for the Tech industry is visible through her work, Keitumetse is also into travelling and exploring the world. So far, she has been travelling the world, sometimes tagging her business partner along, whom she owns properties with. Her most rewarding travel experiences was seeing a business opportunity, which she did not hesitate to jump into.
“We used to travel a lot with my business partner and we would be in awe of buildings, and we decided to take the plunge. I do have my own property that I solely own and rent it out too, the idea behind was to try and generate cash without so much labour hours and labour invested in the activity. My love for property gave me this idea and being naturally having no appetite for laborious projects, I looked at less effort investments, hence I am keen to tap into commercial and industrial property, and essentially Global Holiday Homes”.
It only took reduced travelling and discipline to save money for Keitumetse and her partner, so they can fund conveyancers and all the snags that needed to be fixed before they get tenants for their residential properties. She also highlighted that, although things are running smooth in the business, they did encountered some challenges with some of the tenants owing rental money.
“For my personal ones I still face a challenge of being owed rent, and have to involve small claims court however due to distance I am not winning those battles. It came to a conclusion that in one incident I had to write-off the amount owed. We now do virtual bi-yearly check-ins with tenants, videos and pictures, and it was after building this trust plus sending “thank you” gifts that the stress and failures/vandalism reduced”.
Keitumetse is proof enough that there is no career that is unfit for women. Even when the society imposes limits and the industry continuing to pull women down, she went on to use her smart brains, perseverance and passion to help thousands of women around the world to change the narrative. Through her, we have seen that the secret to greatness indeed lies in the small actions we take each day.
Top 3 advices/tips from Keitumetse Mogoase:
- As a black woman who carries a lineage that depends on her, you need a plan B, C, however I cannot stress enough that it is not always that these cannot be stress free. I mean it doesn’t need to be an operations business that needs you 24/7. I know how hard it is to make it to the top in any sector with careers, thus a salary alone will not always be enough.
- I advocate for Collaboration and Outsourcing, if you research more on these and master such business you can go a long way. Example: There is absolutely no need to opening new NGOs, we have enough why are we not we collaborating? I would not have advanced my property businesses thus far had I gone at it alone.
- Plan B also gives you a personal challenge to push yourself, should you find that your career/job is not stimulating enough and you can/may unlock other talents you did not know you possess. Throw yourself out there, fail fast and grow