NEWS & ARTICLES
The TechWomen programme ShadowTech won the engaging youth in ICT gong at the annual New Zealand CIO awards in Auckland last night.
The initiative run by TechWomen, part of the NZTech community, provides years 9 to 11 schoolgirls an opportunity to experience what working in a tech job is like, encouraging them onto education pathways that lead into tech related roles. Only 23 percent of New Zealand females work in tech, the fastest growing sector in New Zealand.
“Right now there’s a gender imbalance in the tech industry. The sector employs more than 120,000 people, but only 23 percent are women. I want that to change. It needs to be much higher,” said Minister Clare Curran at yesterday’s Wellington launch of ShadowTech.
Yesterday, 200 secondary school girls met at Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Creativity to experience a diverse range of tech careers for the day. The Wellington ShadowTech event was the first in a nationwide series.
“Sorting the gender imbalance can only be good for the sector and the country. I want young girls to see there’s a future for them in tech and I hope ShadowTech Day encourages and inspires them to study and work in this field,” said Minister Curran.
‘Women in tech’ is unfortunately not a phrase heard often enough. We are all aware of the gender divide between men and women in IT, but instead of asking ‘how can we fix it?’ we tend to get stuck in the negative mindset of the ‘that’s just the way it is’. If you are working in the New Zealand tech sector, there is an opportunity to help change the future of women in the industry, through an inspirational initiative from NZTech, ShadowTech Day.
New Zealand needs more research on why younger generations of women are not considering a career in Tech and why we see a high dropout of women dropout of the workforce, a NZTech leader says.
Eva Sherwood is an Account Executive at Oracle New Zealand, and serves on the Board of NZTech as a representative for major corporates. She began her career in I.T. in 2007, after studying degrees in Psychology and Business, then completing a post-grad diploma in Software Testing. Eva’s passionate about encouraging more young women to consider careers in the tech sector. She first became a ShadowTech Day mentor in 2016. Here, she shares a few of her experiences so far:
Efforts to encourage women into software programming and other parts of the tech industry are going up a notch.
Industry body NZTech is doubling the size of its ShadowTech Days mentoring programming, which will this year pair 500 high school girls with women already in the industry, after receiving funding from the Ministry of Youth Development.
Over the last couple of years, you may have noticed an increased dialogue and attentiveness in the media around the lack of diversity in tech, mainly the gender gap. However, the discussion hasn’t translated into results and data is showing a widening gender gap across the industry. Despite this, we are seeing an increased commitment for diversity in tech from several organisations, but we need more. NZTech Women is helping lead the charge and I’m proudly part of this inspiring group. As Eva Sherwood recently highlighted, we have come together from all facets of the tech sector to make a real impact through several key initiatives.
Computer programming jobs have previously struggled to attract women, but new technologies are providing substantial opportunities for a growing number of young girls seeking tech jobs, NZTech government relations director Andrea Hancox says.