Prompted, this women’s month, to reflect on the promotion of equality and female
empowerment, PRP Solutions points to the words of Sheryl Sandberg, the famed COO
of Meta Platforms (Facebook): “If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what
seat. Just get on.” PRP Solutions is deeply motivated to keep building its growing rocket
ship, so it can offer more women a seat. When things are better for women, opines HR
Manager, Lara Pearce, they are really better for everyone.
Despite decades of progress towards workplace equality, women globally struggle for
equal access in the technology space. “It is estimated that only 5% of leadership
positions are held by women, and roughly 17% of people working in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are women. It is PRP Solutions’ vision to
close these gaps by growing the company’s “rocket ship”, and we are developing
strategic initiatives to put female personnel at the helm,” says Pearce. “We expect that
our organisation and our clients will benefit from their intellect, incisive reasoning,
resilience and their capacity to take risks”.
PRP Solutions has offices in South Africa, with satellite branches in the Netherlands,
Turkey, Brazil, Portugal and Columbia, and plans to quadruple business in the next few
years. As such, PRP Solutions will be growing its team and has committed to employing
more women. Currently, 30% of the South African team is female, with women
represented across the business, in the financial, software development, product
development, sales, account management teams and on Exco. “We will ensure that 60%
to 70% of our new appointments are women,” elaborates Pearce.
“Besides being critical to the empowerment of women,” adds Pearce, “this just makes
good business sense. If we want to develop the technologies, products and solutions
that meet the needs of our target market, then it is imperative to have more women on
our team”. PRP Solutions is aiming for at least 50% representation in the next five years.
Noting that the act of hiring more women, alone, isn’t enough, PRP Solutions views skills
training and development as a critical investment in the empowerment of women. “This
is why we have made it a priority to hire young talent with ambition and a growth
mindset. We provide the training and mentoring required to close the gaps often made
by lack of experience. In addition, we ensure they have sufficient support during the
process (flexible leave and mentorship programmes, for example),” explains Pearce.
It’s early days yet, but the organisation has plans to collaborate with specialist
organisations, whose mandate is to identify and incubate young talent – especially
young female talent – in technology fields that have historically been male dominated
(such as coding).
PRP Solutions is a technology company, but it recognises that its people are the
heartbeat of the organisation. “Many of our staff make valuable contributions to company
culture, through actions that have nothing do to with achieving sales targets but are just
as important for our strategic vision,” says Pearce. The processing of noting these is
enabling PRP Solutions to acknowledge and reward contributions that, until now, might
have been unseen. “It’s interesting to note that the women on the team have found this
process especially engaging,” concludes Pearce.