Major diversity focus for 2018 NZ Hi-Tech Awards

Published on the 06/12/2017 | Written by Newsdesk


Entries open with new categories, diversity promoted…

Throwing open entries for the 2018 running of the NZ Hi-Tech Awards, organisers have announced two new categories and new entry criteria to ensure there is a focus on diversity.

The Hi-Tech Awards recognise the achievers of the NZ Hi-Tech industry from the start-up and emerging categories through to the coveted PwC Company of the Year, won in 2017 by Pushpay.

The new categories include one to recognise inspiring leadership, while the other recognises an outstanding contribution to the local tech sector by an overseas headquartered company. The Public Sector category has also been expanded to encompass solutions developed for the wider public good.

All categories require just 20 percent of staff to be resident in New Zealand.

In a statement, NZ Hi-Tech Trust Chair Jen Rutherford said the Hi-Tech Awards acknowledge, recognise and celebrate excellence in an industry which is now the third largest export earner in the country and the fastest growing export sector.

“The 2017 Awards programme was the most successful ever, with a record number of entries and more than 900 people attending the sold-out Gala Awards Dinner. We are looking to continue this momentum as we open for the 2018 Awards and look forward to the Gala Dinner on the 25th May next year,” she said.

The Awards take place in Christchurch this year, with the Gala Dinner coinciding with the end of NZ Tech’s Techweek ’18.

“For 2018 we’ve changed out a couple of the categories and revised the entry criteria to ensure we have a major focus on diversity and inclusion. Not only do we want companies to be conscious of where they are now from a diversity perspective but critically where are they heading in terms of promoting and encouraging diversity in their workplace. We also encourage people to nominate companies and individuals that they think are worthy entrants,” said Rutherford.

It is not clear in the entry criteria what the diversity and inclusion requirements are. Maori innovators do need to be companies owned by Maori individuals or Maori businesses (which seems fairly self-evident), and the sex and age of entrant company’s CEOs must be declared. There is a statement required around company culture under a section called ‘Success:’

‘How are you going to get there: what kind of culture are you building to achieve success?
[…] Describe the company culture you are building, including how you have planned for work place diversity, flexibility and inclusiveness and what specific evidence there is of this.’

On the face of it, entrants should take pause to carefully consider their responses.

The following are the 13 award categories for 2018:

  • PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year
  • Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the year
  • NZVIF Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the year
  • Callaghan Innovation Maori Innovation
  • Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution
  • NZTE Best Hi-Tech for the Agritech Sector
  • Quick Circuit Best Contribution by an Internationally Headquartered Company
  • Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Service
  • IBM Hi-Tech Inspiring Individual of the Year
  • ATEED Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Creative Sector
  • Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product
  • Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever of the year
  • Visa IT Best Technology Solution for the Public Good

In addition, the Hi-Tech Awards will also recognise a new Flying Kiwi who will be inducted into the Tait Communications Hi-Tech Hall of Fame.

Entries for the 2018 Awards close at 5pm on Monday, 5 March 2018. More information or enter here.

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