A WOMAN WHO STRIVES TO SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INNOVATION SPACE
By: Selina Rapulane – 29 August 2023
Mrs Martha Ikome is an Intellectual Property (IP) Advisor and currently acting as the Senior Manager in the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). She joined VUT in 2014 as a Legal Intern and has since progressed to a managerial position at the helm of TTO. Her responsibilities are to ensure that VUT complies with the mandates set out in the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Acts which includes, but not limited to identifying, harnessing, protecting and commercialising VUT’s intellectual property for the socio-economic benefits of all.
Mrs Ikome obtained her master’s degree in International Law from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Common and Civil Law from the University of Sao, Yaoundé Cameroon. She is currently in pursuit of a PHD in International Relations.
“I am humbled to be employed at VUT. My job grants me the opportunity to liaise with brilliant minds within the Innovation ecosystem (space). I am passionately committed to projecting VUT’s research and innovation capacity to South Africa and the world. Furthermore, I aspire to be part of the dynamic team at VUT that fights relentlessly to propel VUT to the limelight”, she commented.
In aligning herself with this year’s theme for Women’s Day: ‘Digit 4 all: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, she stated that, “The role of women in tech cannot be overemphasised as it gives rise to stimulating discussion. In the past, it was uncommon for women to hold technology-driven positions. International research has shown that the tech space is viewed as being predominantly male dominated”.
She further commented that, “In the last decade, however, we have seen more women rise through the corporate ranks to positions in senior and executive leadership role and they have strived even above expectations. Not only has there been a growth in women in senior leadership in technology, but also across business sectors and political office. I strongly belief that the solutions to a brighter and better world lies in the hands of women”.
Mrs Ikome is passionate in ensuring that women’s participation in tech transfer and innovation space is not the “exception” but actually becomes obligatory because when women take the reins and drive business operations and processes, the impact is great, and they become a force to reckon with.
She strives to defend the oppressed, especially women. She takes pleasure in empowering and mentoring other women by ensuring that their voices are heard and that they get the support they require. She believes that when she empowers other women, it shows them how they too can empower themselves by learning from others’ experiences in life and this gives them hope and inspiration.
Above all, Mrs Ikome is a mother and a wife who dedicates her time to the well-being of her family. Motherhood is truly a remarkable gift and a privilege that she holds very close to her heart. To her, being a mother means to be fearless, to be a positive role model, to be a continuous cheerleader for every milestone her child will experience.
“As a mother to a beautiful and intelligent little girl that will one-day be a woman of great excellence, my dream is for her and other girls to climb to the top of the ladder in the male dominated high tech innovative space as well as to see her invent a productor process that will further enhance the livelihood of humans”, she mentioned.