An advocate for women empowerment in business, Munilall plans to use her new appointment to showcase why women make effective leaders even when they work in a male-dominated industry such as the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

“Women bring a different dimension to the workplace and are more detailed when it comes to planning and implementing within a business environment. There are lots of opportunities to fuse this with our male counterparts and create a better work and business environment that ensures growth,” she says.

With over eight years experience in ICT, Munilall has held several executive roles for Nokia, Standard Bank and Absa before being headhunted by Samsung to head the company’s African telecommunications and project management teams.

Prior to her appointment to head up the South African division of Chinese technology multinational Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, Munilall was sales director for Lenovo’s Africa operations.

It was during her tenure at Lenovo that she acquired the nickname ‘The Iron Lady’ after former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was known to be an uncompromisingly hard, yet highly effective leader.

Addressing the glaring shortage of women in ICT is a priority and the kind of legacy Munilall would like to leave behind.

“I believe there is a huge gap in the industry with the lack of women. There are far too few women currently and I saw this as a great opportunity to grow and showcase my capabilities. There is space for corporate companies to create programmes that will assist in the growth and career development of women within the technology space,” she says.

As mobile forecasts for Africa predict that 97% of the population will have a mobile subscription by 2017 – of which 30% are expected to be for smartphones – Munilall plans to hone in on mobile devices to drive growth for the business, while at the same time using mobile platforms to educate women who have traditionally been excluded from access to formal education.

“The technology sector is the most interesting and progressive of all industries. I see mobile devices as a key driver, especially in education and health,” she says.