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Nosipho Dhladhla

International Civil Servant, United Nations Headquarters

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Unleash your creativity with purpose.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a web developer supporting the websites and databases of the the United Nations Public Service Awards programme that rewards innovation and excellence in public services.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

When I was in high school many years ago, I got the opportunity to take part in the Girls in ICT initiative organised by the Forum for African Women (Swaziland Chapter) which introduced me to the world of technology (we had no computers in schools back then). I was attached to the Swazi Post and Telecoms company for a month and got to experience the in's and outs of working in the telecommunications field. After that I switched from wanting to be a fashion designer to pursuing a career in ICTs.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

A career as an international civil servant at the United Nations. I had wanted to study abroad after I finished high school but never got the opportunity. So I pursued an electronics engineering degree at the local university in my country Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). I never imagined that being in the ICT field would one day lead to a career at an organisation like the UN which stands for what I believe in, universal peace and equality for all.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working with technology because it's always evolving, moving forward. There's always an opportunity to learn something new, to develop and innovate in STEM. And the best part about working in STEM is that it overlaps with many other industries so one can merge their passions that lie in other industries with their love for STEM... as I did humanitarian work with technology.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

I would advise them to unleash their creativity with purpose... they should ask themselves "what can I do to help make the world, my world, my community, my home, my school a better place with whatever opportunity I have at hand". Like William Kamkwamba, the Malawian boy who harnessed the wind... despite his challenges, not being able to afford an education, he got creative with what was within his reach to build a windmill that saved his town from famine. Sometimes the simplest forms of innovation can help be the change. And then tell their stories... we need more and more stories about the remarkable work of girls and women in STEM... and there are many of them out there, and why this campaign, 1 million women in STEM, is very powerful.

INSPO / FUN FACT

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi