Boosting female representation in South Africa’s technology-enabled sectors has been high on the agenda for years. But despite industry-wide drives to encourage girls to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and work in technology, only 23% of tech jobs in South Africa are held by women.
However, a number of companies, including TransUnion, are determined to buck the trend. At TransUnion’s Global Capability Centre (GCC) in South Africa, all but one of the executive leadership team – and 70% of employees – are women. It’s an achievement that was recently recognised with a Top Gender Empowered Company 2022 Award from the Standard Bank Top Women Awards.
“We are exceptionally proud of this certification as it speaks to our ongoing endeavors to ensure that we are a company that not only commits to women’s empowerment, but follows through,” explains Avesh Singh, head of TransUnion's Global Capability Centre in Africa. “In our engagements with the adjudicating committee, they were surprised at how transformed our business is, not only in gender, but also in diversity – and that within our first year of operation. As at February 2022, 70% of our staff force are women. In terms of our demographics, 80% are Black, 10% Coloured, 6% Indian and 4% are White.”
We are particularly proud to be presented with this certification, adds The GCC’s Head of Operations, Shobana Maikoo. “Building diversity into the business has been our priority since the GCC started operations early in 2021.”
“For us, creating a diverse organisation is something that’s systematic and coordinated. It really helps that as a virtual business, flexible working is something that’s built into our DNA, and women at the TransUnion GCC find themselves in an environment that recognises their skills and ability to deliver outcomes to our global clients,” said Maikoo.
“TransUnion has invested in the South African market for many years, and we’re delighted that our commitments to the region have been noted by the Standard Bank Top Women Awards team,” says Eric Hess, TransUnion executive vice-president of global operations. “We will continue to drive shared prosperity through social and economic transformation of the continent.”
The GCC is a 100% virtual, with no fixed office location and it support’s TransUnion’s global operations, with its entire workforce comprised of South African workers servicing international clients from their homes across a range of contact centre, business process management, technology support and data analytics services.
The GCC already serves multiple international markets, including Canada, providing support services in both French and English. With the business growing rapidly, HR Manager Shivani Ramsaroop says the business consciously works to design and advertise roles in a way that removes perceived barriers to entry. This includes creating gender-neutral specifications, and positioning the GCC as a place of collaboration and support, rather than a competitive hierarchy.
The results speak for themselves. The new GCC is having a significant impact across the organisation, its clients and consumers, through its ability to deliver high value work and scale at speed in response to the demands of the global markets it operates in. Such is the demand for its services that it expects to double its workforce this year alone.
“Our expansion is well ahead of our initial projections as demand for innovative, skilled work increases in TransUnion markets across the world. We are also aiming to boost our learnership intake to 60 this year, with most of those learners likely to get full-time roles after their 12-month internship,” said Ramsaroop.