Final day of Gartner Symposium SA generates big news

02 October 2019 2 min. read
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The final day of Gartner’s Symposium 2019 in Cape Town featured a keynote address from CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Nicky Newton-King, who used the platform to announce her retirement from the position as of the 30th of September. The symposium took place between the 16th and 18th of September.

The two-day event featured daily Google Cloud Digital Transformation Labs, among a wide range of other activities, where executives from Gartner and other market leaders led discussions on state-of-the-art when it comes to digitalisation. Topics covered ranged from cloud migrations to product management to cybersecurity.

The final day opened with the news of Newton-King’s retirement from the helm of the JSE, which was revealed in a keynote conversation with Gartner’s UK-based Research Vice President and Chief of Research for Security and Risk Management, Tom Scholtz.

Final day of Gartner Symposium SA generates big news

Newton-King has worked at the JSE for more than two decades. She was admitted to the board in 2005, and took over as CEO in 2012. Having had many successes at the JSE’s helm, Newton-King represents a source of inspiration for many women in South Africa, who are currently fighting for equality in the workplace.

Among the biggest causes for concern is that women in the country face a glass ceiling when it comes to holding senior positions, a barrier that Newton-King has shattered as the leader of Africa’s largest index. Her notable contributions include the development of the JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index.

During the address, she touched upon many pertinent issues in South Africa, ranging from the development of tech capabilities to executive pay. “Will an extra million really benefit the top-level executive? Or would it be better distributed among the bottom-line workers who take three taxis just to reach the office? How do we expect them to perform at the best of their ability if we turn a blind eye to the horrors they face each day?” she said. At a time of economic stagnation, continually high levels of executive pay have sparked sustained outrage in South Africa.

The keynote event with Newton-King was followed by a wide range of events on the final day, including a Gartner-led seminar on ‘Developing Cloud Native Strategies and Architectures,’ as well as a session on how artificial intelligence is likely to impact the future of jobs, led by VP Analyst at Gartner Helen Poitevin.