More support to entice women into tech jobs

Published on the 20/04/2017 | Written by Newsdesk


Women working tech jobs

Shadow Tech Days to give schoolgirls IT insights…

There are ample programs to draw them in, there is support and encouragement available and on top of it all, there is even research which shows that adding women to the staff roster benefits the organisation. Yet, as our recent feature showed, the technology industry still tends towards male domination – an observation which will be borne out by looking around the next tech conference room.

NZTech is doing its bit by helping organise Shadow Tech Days all over New Zealand from May 31 through to June 22. The idea is to help companies give schoolgirls a peek at the life they could create if they take on a career in tech.

And, just to clarify for the uninitiated, that’s shadow tech as in following IT workers closely around their workplace, not the shadowy tech of departmental spending on IT solutions unbeknown to the IT department (as the rest of the world knows it).

The Shadow Tech Days will take place in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Produced with the support of the Ministry of Youth Development, Shadow Tech Day is a collaboration between NZTech and the Manukau Institute of Technology bringing together tech firms and other tertiary institutes throughout New Zealand, to connect hundreds of schoolgirls with the possibilities of tech.

The tech sector is growing faster than any other part of the New Zealand economy and it is creating lots of new and interesting jobs, said NZTech government relations director Andrea Hancox in a statement.

“The tech sector is growing at a pace that means new talent is in demand. This has resulted in the tech sector having some of the highest salaries around without the same costs of education as jobs such as law and medicine. Job prospects are high with exciting new companies and tech roles emerging every year. Jobs like drone engineers or artificial intelligence designers didn’t exist a couple of years ago, so we expect to see new job opportunities continuing to emerge that we can’t even envisage,” she noted.

However, NZTech said only three percent of 15-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls consider a career in IT while women make up only 23 percent of those employed in IT occupations.

With more than 28,000 companies employing around 100,000 people the tech sector has a growing number of opportunities from traditional software development roles to creatives, designers, business analysts, managers and engineers.

“Tech roles are not just limited to the tech sector. With more and more industries deploying technologies Shadow Tech Day is helping to expose future career opportunities for young girls in technology within airlines, banks, schools and almost all sectors,” Hancox added.

NZTech said research, including its own, has shown that tech firms with a balance of men and women make more money and, because there are less women than men in the sector, many firms are actively developing their businesses and roles to make them more attractive for women.

Keen to participate in Shadow Tech Day? More here.

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