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​Techno-Girl Programme


About Techno Girl

The Techno Girl programme is all about increasing and enhancing the participation of girls in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). 

A large majority of secondary school learners fails to reach proficiency in maths and science.  For girls, the situation is particularly challenging – with less than a third of girls taking maths and science in their secondary school years.   Consequently, young girls leave school and higher institutions without the competencies required to occupy technical careers in STEM fields.  To ensure that girls have an equal opportunity to excel in fields that the economy requires, they need to be exposed to opportunities, inspired to success, helped with subject choices and guided regarding their tertiary education, while still at school. Techno Girl is an innovative job-shadowing programme for girls, with a particular bias toward STEM careers.  The programme is a flagship programme of the Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD), in partnership with UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education (DBE).  It is premised on the understanding that structured exposure to the workplace can significantly contribute towards motivating disadvantaged girls to take up careers that are in demand in the economy and where women are under-represented.  This will lead to sustained employment and in so doing the cycle of poverty can be broken for these girls.   What makes the programme particularly compelling is that it covers two of South Africa’s key national priorities: education and job creation.


The programme entails girls following a structured job-shadowing programme at various Transnet and other job shadowing partner company sites. Girls are placed in companies whose core business activities are focused on scarce career fields in STEM were women are under-represented.  To be effective and have meaningful impact, a Job Shadowing programme cannot be a once-off activity.  The programme therefore involves placing girls in the workplace on a long-term, structured and systematic basis.  In the case of Transnet, the girl child is placed within a company for three consecutive holiday periods annually over a four-year period. A girl will enter the programme whilst completing Grade 9, continue the programme during Grade 10 and 11 and exit upon completion of Grade 12


A typical annual intake cycle is illustrated below and will repeat over a four-year period.  As the girl progresses from year to year, the level and complexity of the workplace learning and experience is increased:



Techno Girl presents a valuable learning opportunity for girls.  By visiting the workplace and receiving exposure to the myriad of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, they will in future be empowered to make informed career choices and to make an early head start in planning their careers.


For the vast majority of girls visiting Transnet it will be their first encounter with the world of work.  As such it will be a new and maybe strange environment for them.  Recruited purely on the grounds of their scholastic achievement and interest to learn about the world of work, they will initially have very little knowledge about the programme and how they will benefit from the experience over the long term.


A typical annual intake cycle is illustrated below and will repeat over a four-year period. 
As the girl progresses from year to year, the level and complexity of the workplace learning and experience is increased:




The participating girls are selected by provincial departments of education through district offices and schools.  

To ensure redress and equitable access, girls are selected by means of the following criteria:

  • All beneficiaries are from disadvantaged communities
  • Only girls in Grades 9,10, 11 and 12 are eligible for selection
  • All beneficiaries have to be from public schools
  • Only girls who meet the minimum pass requirements of the subjects and grades may be considered
  • All beneficiaries need to obtain at least 50% (level 4), in Maths/Maths literacy
  • Girls need to demonstrate good behavioural and disciplinary records at school
  • All beneficiaries must be dedicated to their schools and display a keen interest in their scholastic

Programme objectives

  • To expose girls, through job shadowing, to the world of work;
  • To increase the knowledge of girls on careers they are exposed to;
  • To increase awareness of the importance of subject choices to future career preferences;
  • To expose girls to mentors in the workplace for particular careers;
  • To expose girls to practical job tasks in the workplace for particular careers; and
  • To increase knowledge of girls on the planning processes of their future career choices.

Programme benefits

For the Girls

For the job shadowing partner organisation

  • it provides girls with first hand insider information into what their career of interest involves;
  • it provides girls with the opportunity to understand the benefits and challenges of positions in those careers;
  • it motivates girls to develop a personal action plan to study further to secure a job of interest;
  • it helps girls gain valuable insight that can assist them in determining where their interest lies;
  • it provides girls with an understanding of Mathematics as a prerequisite to pursue studies in most critical careers;
  • it enables girls to learn and observe team work on the job;
  • it enables girls to examine how education and training relates to success on the job;
  • it enables girls to understand that education is key to getting in-demand jobs;


  • it contributes towards the achievement of BBBEE scorecard compliance;
  • it provides companies with a platform to build corporate reputation and branding;
  • it provides companies with a pool of girls who they can motivate and support to pursue studies in careers where they experience critical skills shortages;
  • it provides companies with a pool of talented girls they can offer employment to after completion of grade 12;
  • it provides companies with an avenue to participate in the development of human capital to enhance economic growth;
  • it provides companies the opportunity to partner with Government to address socio economic challenges;