What does 54TwentyFour mean?

"5424 (54TwentyFour) is the street number of my childhood home in Orlando East, Soweto. I grew up in a low income, poor neighbourhood. I was surrounded by crime, violence, teenage pregnancy, unemployability, fatherlessness, alcoholism and many of the social ills that we face in South Africa. I am in a better place now because of women and men like Nelson Mandela who challenged the inhumane status quo of their time. 

When I founded 54TwentyFour I realised that even though the law has changed, and there's now an intolerance for overt discrimination, the underlying attitudes around certain identity groups, social and institutional norms hadn't changed much, and I experienced this mainly in the workplace."


Julia Makhubela 

The Founding Story 

54TwentyFour was founded by Julia Makhubela in September 2018. Julia spent 10 years of her career job hopping, unable to find a company where she could fit in. As a black woman in the technology and creative industry, she struggled to experience workspaces as inclusive. 


Julia was seeing and experiencing companies that were stuck using outdated ways of working and people management practices. This often led to younger workers changing jobs faster than the previous generation. It was clear that there was a mismatch between what modern day workers wanted versus what they were getting. 


In 2017, Julia became an Operations Director. Her core responsibility was to enable a high-performance, customer-centric culture and to transform the digital agency to be diverse and inclusive. It was in this role that Julia had an awakening, realizing that great organisations intentionally design their leader and employee experience which influences the culture, performance, creativity and excellence. 


Knowing that engaging modern, diverse workers was a challenge that most organisations faced, she founded 54TwentyFour.  

Our Guiding Principles 

At 54TwentyFour we’re all guided by Ubuntu which translates as “a person is a person through other people”. Our work is grounded in research on critical social justice, equity, neuroscience and organisational psychology.  


We are inspired and guided by the belief that:


  • Psychologically safe, equitable and inclusive workplaces are good for business.  

  • People are happy to bring their best selves to work, every day when their work brings them joy.

  • In order to design tailor-made experiences for people, we need to first understand the people we are designing for.