In Conversation: Matshidiso Ruele (IT Auditor, Deloitte)

As a proud mother of two and an accomplished IT auditor, Matshidiso is proof of how women are breaking the ceilings in technology while also dealing with the challenges that come with balacing a career in such a demanding field like tech and motherhood.

In this interview, she takes us through her career journey including what stoked her interest in tech, experiences in the field as a woman and where she see herself career-wise in the foreseeable future.

In your own words, please tell us who Matshidiso Ruele is

Matshidiso Ruele is a young lady who grew up in Ntlhantlhe. I am very enthusiastic about life and inquisitive about the way things are and challenging the status quo hence my love for sciences and technology.

Briefly take us through your journey to a career in tech

I have completed Bachelor of science in Computer science from the University of Botswana in 2020, I joined Compucare as a workshop technician, where my job role entailed upgrading RAM on laptops, configuring and setting up workstations, I later went on Government internship at High Court(Administrator of Justice) where I was IT support.

I created a few solutions as an extension of my final year project and that gave me visibility in the market, Few months later I went on to work for Creative insights supporting QFLO. I was also in University of Botswana SAIS-UIG where I worked with colleagues to work on web applications.

Currently I am working as an IT auditor at Deloitte.

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech?

My love for Transformers and science -fiction movies kind of directed my career path. I was always intrigued by robots, artificial intelligence and algorithms that is why I chose to study computer science and software development.

Please tell us what your job entails

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our global network of member firms and related entities in more than 150 countries and territories (collectively, the “Deloitte organization”) serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies.

My job responsibilities include planning and conducting comprehensive information system’s audits this include the Application, Operating system and Database manual and automated controls testing, compliance with risk management standards, policies and procedures, identifying weak/non compliant areas and their root cause,documenting and reporting on findings and developing effective corrective action plans and following up on implementation of the corrective action.. 

Women representation in tech is still unfortunately low. As a woman in such a field, what has been your experience?

Unfortunately, that is correct, I feel it is still an external issue of access to knowledge and exposure in the industry. Negative perceptions about women in STEM and expectations to prove that you do belong are continuous challenges we face. I have had conversations with friends and colleagues and the most common notion that pops up is that the courses or the field are quite challenging. 

However, I strongly believe in ‘GIRL MAGIC’ and that women can attain anything they set their minds to. I  would like to see women reach their goals, make new discoveries and inventions and unapologetically break boundaries in Tech.

I have myself been mentored and  inspired by ladies who are Entrepreneurs, Chief Information Officers, Directors, Senior Managers  in the industry, they show us that though there is still a Gap but it is doable and eventually there will be change.

If there have been challenges as a result of this representation gap, how have you managed to surmount them?

Technology is ever changing and rapidly growing almost at the speed it takes to change four tyres of a formula 1 car, so to be one with the times, I am a very reflective person, I always engage and try to find opportunities for self development and also continuous learning, there is tremendous amount of online training that has made it easier to learn and improve, at your own time at your own pace, how amazing.

What do you think can be done to reduce this lack of representation?

Encouraging more women and girls to participate in information technology, The field is broad from development, academia, production, etc and sharing knowledge and spotlight on the vast areas through mentoring, collaborative learning and encouraging women to enroll in Computer Science courses.

More exposure and spotlighting women who are doing well in the field can also help. Women have an opportunity to help contribute to new discoveries and solve problems across the world. In not so many words I can say they should ‘Just start’ . 

Computer Science, which is the field you are in, is constantly changing and rapidly. How do you ensure that your skillset always remains relevant?

I constantly research and as mentioned before continuos learning.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

My journey as a professional has been quite amazing and interesting from being a technician, to an analyst and then a systems auditor which by far is the proudest moment in my career. Starting my blog and the website has also been one of many great strides. 

What’s something you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?

It is okay not to know some principles, I used to push myself a lot and do more  because I wanted to be knowledgeable in this ever fast and rapidly changing field. But recently I have learnt that doing less is also progress.

If any, what is the best advice you have received in your career?

The best advice I have was from my former boss when I resigned. I remember him saying, ‘Continue being you, keep asking questions and expressing your opinions, work hard,  and shine relentlessly.' 

Career-wise, where do you see Matshidiso in the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5 years I see Matshidiso as a tech entrepreneur and a mentor to young software developers.

What advice can you give to young girls who are interested in pursuing a career in tech?

I would encourage young girls who are interested in Technology to pursue their dreams and Just start. The field is broad and beaming with opportunities, there is room for all genders. Do your best, whatever you set your mind to you can attain. Collaborate, foster inclusion and be exceptional. 

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

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