The New Zealand Tech Alliance is a group of independent technology associations from across New Zealand that work together to ensure a strong voice for technology.Visit Tech Alliance
Last year, I joined the board of NZTech alongside my role at Oracle. As part of our drive to create a prosperous New Zealand underpinned by a vibrant technology industry we have a passionate team #NZTechWomen, dedicated to inspiring women into the sector. It is vital that we promote technology as a worthwhile and exciting career option for the next generation of women. We need to breakdown any stereotypes and preconceptions young girls may have about the tech industry.
The case for diversity is clear; the substantial local and international research points to a significant correlation between gender, racial and ethnic diversity and financial returns. Women currently make up 47% of the New Zealand workforce, but an NZTech report identified only 23% of those employed in the tech sector were female. Most shocking is that only 3% of 15-year-old girls in New Zealand were considering a career in computing professions.
It is for this reason I am delighted that NZTech have created Shadow Tech Day, a sustainable mentoring program to inspire more young women into technology related careers. The reach of this program has been significantly increased by Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announcing in January 2017 additional government investment of $75,000. This will allow the program to reach beyond the main cities into the regional areas of Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Dunedin.
This year, #NZTechWomen is creating a diversity and inclusion forum, bringing together New Zealand organisations facing similar challenges. We understand that diversity and inclusion are important issues for New Zealand organisations. However, the challenge is that we are all working on our own goals, policies and strategies. The true challenge is that we are doing it on our own! Together, we can provide a collaborative voice, create connections, increase knowledge, support growth and influence policy. We know that working together will create new opportunities to address diversity and inclusion.
We will keep you posted about our program of diversity initiatives over the year ahead and I look forward to a superb turnout at Shadow Tech Day 2017. Thank you all for your continued support!
Last week, NZTech CEO Graeme Muller updated Wellington members on projects NZTech has underway in 2017. Are you Auckland based? Register for NZTech Connect in Auckland on 16 March to hear more.
Project17 kicks off the year with Justin Milano presenting Four Pillars for Entrepreneurial Success on 28 Feb in Auckland. For free tickets, the first email we receive wins a double pass.
Book your spot for the AgTech Hackathon Manawatu; connecting farmers with smarter on-farm solutions. Teams work together 11-12 March, with final pitches held at Central Districts Field Days on March 17.
Mark your diary for MaD for the Future 2017! The national conference in innovation for Manufacturing and Design runs during Techweek in Auckland. The inaugural event promotes cross-disciplinary networks.
Learn more about the recently launched FinTechNZ, including an international delegation set to visit our shores next month. Interested in FinTech? Become a member of FinTechNZ
Want to know more? Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!