The Ministry of Business and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry for Women today launched a pilot to attract more women back into the technology sector.
Based in Wellington, Return to IT assists women with a digital technology backgrounds to return to work in the sector after taking a career break of between two and five years. Successful applicants will be offered an opportunity to be placed with a participating organisation, or assistance with seeking employment in the IT sector.
I recently joined the NZTech Women High Impact Team, with the honour of being the group’s first male representative. This has significantly improved the teams gender diversity to a proportion not far off the percentage of women in tech in New Zealand businesses!
Techweek’17 is almost here. When I think back to a year ago when we committed to expanding Techweek from a calendar of Auckland events to a truly national festival, we knew it would be a challenge. With very limited funding we approached this year as our MVP. The goal was to engage tech communities throughout New Zealand and create a national experience.
The NZTech team had another busy week with FinTechNZ launch events in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. The ability to support the development of a new tech association and help it reach critical mass quickly is thanks to the collaboration between the NZTech Board and a Core Working Group of FinTechNZ representatives. This is being driven with passion by our Chair, Mitchell Pham. Within a month of launching, FinTechNZ will be hosting its first international engagement, a FinTech business delegation from UK and Australia visiting Auckland. Minister Dean was present for the Wellington launch and congratulated NZTech and other industry leaders for their foresight. NZTech continues to grow our wider alliance of technology-related associations and with the launch of FinTechNZ, now numbers 12. If you are a current member of NZTech and wish to become a member of FinTechNZ we have arranged a heavy discount on your behalf. Contact me for further information.
Recently, I attended the launch of the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator. In his opening address, Minister Joyce highlighted the tech sector’s rapid growth and how digital disruption is making a large contribution to our strengthening economy. The Wellington based Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator, will initially fund and support 10 start-ups to build, launch and expand products in global markets. As Minister Joyce acknowledged, high growth start-ups are key contributors to the Governments goals for growing R&D, exports and making the most of the digital economy. One of my favourite quotes from the night was from Anna Guenther, CEO and founder of PledgeMe, “it should be less about the technology and more about the people, enhancing the community and be seamless. You shouldn’t see technology, it’s just what you do.”
The NZTech Women Wellington group is looking at the advancement of skills for women in the Technology field – from student level interest, to intern programmes, along with development for the existing workforce.
At our May lunch, we will be reporting back on research around programmes and initiatives that we as a group can support, be aware of, and if appropriate – get involved in.
Weather and flights permitting, Frances Valentine, CEO of The Mind Lab will be joining us to facilitate discussion around the skills gap, the unique ways of encouraging girls into the technology sector through all the various opportunities available.
Feel free to extend this invitation to any of your female colleagues or industry peers.
A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!