Women in Tech ZA – Tech4Africa
Name: Shana Kay Derman
Date of Birth: 16 May
Cannot Live Without: My son, my husband, my friends, my family, my concealer, laughter, happiness, walking, sunshine.
Entrepreneurship, technology, writing, business, painting, dancing, sharing, giving, laughing, creating, business development, idea generation, strategy
Painting, running, walking, writing poetry, blogging, reading, photography, vision boarding.
Technology, business, writing, Cyber Crime, Online Security, Online Privacy, South Africa and storytelling, social media, entrepreneurship, strategising, connecting people, psychology of human mind, intercultural social behaviour, NLP, education, inter-racial behaviour, male and female psyche, male and female dynamics in social and work sphere and many more to follow.
Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems) – University of Cape Town, Project Management Certificate – Damelin College, Integrated Small Business Development (iSBDP) – Cape Chamber, SA PLATO Mentorship Programme – Cape Chamber, Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa – The Center for Women and Information Technology, Maxum Business Incubator, Meridian International Center, Microsoft Solution Selling For Partners – Sales Performance International, Microsoft
Places I’ve been to?
- South Africa
- Cape Town
- East London
- Port Elizabeth
- United States
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Salt-Lake City
- Washington DC
Have been employed as:
- CEO: Brand Protection and Verification Company
- Business Development Manager
- Business Analyst
- CEO: Software Development Company
- Operations Manager: Software Development Company
- E-Business Manager: Software Development Company
- Examiner: Computer School
- Distance Learning Tutor: Computer School
- Web Designer: : Software Development Company
- Web Master: Oil and Gas Company
- Intranet Developer: Insurance Company / Oil and Gas Company
- IT Support (Hardware | Software): Oil and Gas Company / Food and Beverage Company
- CBR (Case Base Reasoning) Consultant: Insurance Company
- Employee Benefits Clerk: Insurance Company
- Policy Clerk: Insurance Company
- Sales Person: Clothing Company
- Waitress: Restaurants
I am humbled and honored to have received nominations for the following:
- South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government (MIW) Award – 2010
- Mail&Guardian 200 young South Africans to take to lunch publication – 2010
- Mail&Guardian 300 young South Africans to take to lunch publication – 2009
- DTI TWIB (Technology for Women in Business) Award – 2009
- Graca Machel – African Women Excel Award – 2009
- My mother – Single mom, who had nothing but perseverance to provide for her family.
- My husband – selflessly gives to all, whether his time, his love, his expertise and always remembers only the good in people.
- Entrepreneurs / Coaches / Speakers / People who are trying to leave the world a better place:
- Tony Robbins
- Gary Vee
- Marie Forleo
- Friends – I have some awesome friends who support, challenge, don’t judge and love.
- Family – some family have accepted my life choices and I love the crap out of them!
There are so many amazing people I have met who leave impressions in various ways. Too many to list. I am so grateful to those engagements and friendships. They have opened my eyes to many different aspects of life.
Giving is easy, or so I thought until 2008 when I decided to host a Toy Drive (www.annualtoydrive.info) to raise toys (we can discuss what constitutes a toy in another post (“,)) for orphanages and hospitals.
I’ve always respected those who live for others, but until this point, I had no idea what this actually meant.
Those who give selflessly to others should be commended. The care-givers, social workers and mothers of the world should be awarded with badges of honor.
To give more of oneself and not ask for anything in return is something a truly self-less person can do. Personally, until this point, I’ve always seen myself as self-less and giving. Since then, I realise that I am not selfish, but could do more of giving selflessly.
This I intend doing from this day on. I plan to do what I can, when I can and start with the little things such as donate my time where it is requested. So, here’s to the future, may we all give selflessly and help those who cannot help themselves (“,).
Contribute here: www.annualtoydrive.info
Writing – One of my many passions – writing about anything and everything. And, add to this my twist, it has to find the funny side of life.
I’ve written a few blog posts and articles and will post them as they are released, here are some of the first:
Brand South Africa:
- Go for green in the shopping mall …
- Eternal optimist, best brand ambassador, money can’t buy
- Cape Quarter Cool
- Life’s great in Greyton
For more, visit the Brand South Africa website.
Contributed to the following blog posts:
Technical writing – I’ve separated the technical ramblings from my personal posts. These can be found at: http://blog.onyxinterweb.com.
- 5 free web applications to take your startup to the next level
- Taking a walk in the Cloud with Google Apps, Zoho and Office365
- Infointeg – http://www.infointeg.com now trading as IntelliCred – www.intellicred.com (current).
- Maxxor – http://www.maxxor.com (first business, exit in 2008)
- Onyx Interweb – Management Consulting (current)
- Your Digital Agent – Social Media Portfolio
Toy Drive – www.annualtoydrive.info, is an initiative I started in 2008 and have been running ever since. I have a soft spot for children and education. The Toy Drive is the beginning of many initiatives to come.
Currently write or will be writing for the following publications:
Websites and Blog Maintenance
Here are some events and activities taking place in August 2017 in Johannesburg.
- Women’s MBA Recruitment Breakfast – Johannesburg
- Date: 03 August 2017
- Venue: GSB JHB, 5th Floor, 61 Katherine Street, Sandton
- The Business Exchange
- Date: 10 August 2017
- Venue: The Business Exchange, 90 Rivonia Road, 2nd Floor, Webber Wenzel Building, Sandton, Johannesburg, 2193
- Standard Bank Women in Technology Accelerator Showcase
- Date: 30,31 August 2017.
- Venue: to be confirmed.
Some links to get involved, become inspired, share and connect with like-minded women:
- Mimi Women
- Women in Tech – Silicon Cape
- Intel Programs for Women and Girls
- Young Women in Business Network
Incubator and Acceleration Programmes
- JamLab Accelerator Program
- Standard Bank Women in Technology Accelerator
- Grant Thornton – Women in Business Report: New Perspectives on Risk and Reward
Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted “they” say. Who the hell are “they”? Irrespective of who “they” may be, experience tells me “they” may be right. However, with the major down cycles are major up cycles.
I started my first business in 2004 with two co-founders. One CTO and one CEO and I was …. Operations “Manager” I think. Being offspring to two entrepreneurial parents who were on opposite spectrums of the scale (too risk averse and too careless), I am trying my best to be like neither of them were.
My first real dive into being an entrepreneur was by accident, I kind of fell into it, but seemed like home. Ever since, I have been in the tech-preneur space in some shape or form.
I’ve worked for corporate giants such as global insurance companies and the largest local media publisher to name a few, but I always gave and wanted more.
This year, I can honestly say I am being stretched to my limits and beyond, but what this is showing me is that my limits are stretchable. I can and do stretch. I can and do adapt. I can and do go the extra mile even though it may be unpleasant.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Neale Donald Walsch quoted the phrase and it resonates with me oh so much. And with each new phase or challenge, I always want and try to see the opportunity, which is there for me to find.
So lesson to myself today, always keep my eye on the vision. Always realise that I have grit. Always remember that entrepreneurship is a choice that not many people do and succeed at without perseverance, determination and most importantly, passion.
I’ve always believed that being “busy” is being productive. Do you feel the same way? If not, I’ll share my story with you.
I am not quite sure where the drive to be busy continuously came from, but busy-ness, in my world, meant working crazy hours, sleeping few hours, working weekends and most importantly the guilt that is attached to non-busy times or times you can’t be busy or “work”.
I’ve lived this way for years, all my life.
BUSY IS NOT AN INDICATION OF PRODUCTIVITY OR EFFECTIVENESS.
Add in a child, a husband, two cats and a business.
Busy, oh expected right?
Busy, oh needed right?
But sometimes, something small (with major impact) happens, when you are sitting in a room with your child, and having just come from work, on your phone/tablet/laptop etc. and your child says “mommy, I am here”.
“Mommy, I am here”.
Those words, powerful and so clear.
We all have things to do. We all have places to go. Deadlines are always there. However, moments with loved ones (family, friends, children, parents), are fleeting.
Busy-ness does not mean results. Busy-ness, does not yield results. Busy-ness is not a measure of how good you are at your job, although many would disagree.
My work days are short, super short. I drop and fetch kid. I am home by 4pm, commencing with the mom/wife/homely thing. By 8.30 most nights I am passed out with kid, at about anytime between 12 and 2am, I sleep walk back to by bedroom and most mornings I am up at 5am to catch-up, before commencing Mom duty at 6.30.
During my workday, my focus has to be very clear on what I need to achieve for the day. I work on my bigger goal, edging my way toward it inch-by-inch.
I do not have to book every minute of my time. My aim is results-driven and not stuff-driven. Sending 100’s of emails a day, doesn’t mean deal-closing and is not an indicator of how effective I was on that day. Engaging with potential customers, follow-ing up, signing contracts and reaching milestones, this is what makes up my results bucket (mostly).
I’ve been listening to so many podcasts and watching Ted Talks on productivity, procrastination, work-life-balance and more and my take-aways are as follows:
- Continuous busyness is not the way to my bigger goal.
- Sleep is critical to being productive and being the best version of you.
- Busyiness is a factor of procrastination (sometimes) and an indicator that something (a project, a person, an engagement) is not being managed efficiently enough.
- When people distract you, they are taking away valuable (R’s/$’s) time so feeling bad for saying “I really need to get to this” is no reason for feeling guilty.
- I don’t have to work 24-7-365 to show my value.
- Sometimes work-life-balance is “better” than others, but there really is no such thing. If you love what you do, you will put in the required time needed to achieve the goal you are chasing.
I have so much more to share on this topic. For now I will say that the biggest lessons I learn (daily), usually stem from my 3,5 year-old boy who keeps me sane, grounded and practicing my negotiations.
Busyness, be gone.
Focus, results, let’s go!
Giving back doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Helping someone cross the street, giving some money to a homeless person, or just being kind.
Ten years ago, I was tired of waiting for the grand moment to do something good for someone else. That was when The Annual Toy Drive was born. It started as an idea and ten years later, 100’s of kids, and beneficiaries later we are still around.
This year marks TEN years. I am very proud of this. Even though we can always do better, there are always those who support us. Thank you and please continue to share the message that every bit counts.
If you happen to be in Johannesburg on the 8th April 2017, join us at 2pm in Delta Cafe.