Lillian Barnard is the first woman to be appointed Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa since the company reinvested in the country in the 1990s.
In her words, She said, “My experience, combined with my passion and commitment to continuous learning and understanding the technology trends positions me well to be successful in this industry.”
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree in Business/Managerial Economics and BCom Honours in Business Economics which she obtained from the University of the Western Cape.
Lilian is one of South Africa’s leading technology executives, and has held numerous executive positions both locally and abroad, and as such has gained extensive knowledge in sales, operations, business controls, strategy, business transformation and leadership.
She has invested over 20 years of her career working her way up the ladder of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry both in her home country and beyond the shores of her country. And clearly, her hard work and consistency has paid off immensely.
She is passionate about women empowerment, leadership, mentorship, technology and developing the next generation of female leaders.
She is also a Corporate Speaker, Mother and the Author of “I Hope You Feel Inspired”.
When she was asked how she has managed to scale through hurdles she encountered over the course of her more than 20 years in the ICT industry, she said:
“It is quite fortunate that early in my career, I was identified as Top Talent, and as result was often placed in roles which I felt required more experience than I could offer at point. There were three key learnings that I had, which enabled to overcome an hurdle I faced.
Firstly, I realised that my diversity of thinking, my tenacity and my passion for what I do are they three things that often enable my success in any task.
Secondly, I realised that confidence in my abilities – and finding this quickly – was going to be important as I progressed in my career, because I always had ambitious goals.
Finally, and this is still true to this, life is going to be a continuous learning journey of self- discovery that you are going to have to embrace.”
Lilian Barnard advocates for the inclusion of women in technology and encourages young girls and women to be involved in STEM as early as possible.
About her philosophy and how she is able to make the best out of every situation, Lilian said “I live with the philosophy that the only risks that we regret are the ones that we have not taken. As such, I focus on ensuring I deliver to best on all the decisions that I have taken, while learning and moving on from the ones that didn’t work out as planned.”