Launch pad for next generation of female tech leaders
‘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.
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.
As global discussion on diversity and inclusion continues to increase, so does interest in our ongoing program of work. As co-chair of the High Impact Team working for NZTech Women, I would like to introduce our team; Andrea Hancox (co-chair), Kim Connolly-Stone, Jen Rutherford, Sandra Laws, Katarina Kolich, Kanika Singh, Dil Khosa, Rachel Kelly, Caroline Herbert and Alice Moore. Our mission is simple; we are committed to connecting, promoting and advancing women in the New Zealand tech sector.
The World Economic Forum predicts the gender pay gap won’t close entirely until 2186! What if the world stepped up sooner and took bold action? NZTech Women met for lunch in Wellington on #IWD2017 to hear BNZ’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Lana West discuss how to #BeBoldForChange toward gender parity.
NZTech Women recently met for lunch in Auckland. Weirdly's co-founders Dale Clareburt and Keren Phillips joined us to speak about shifting attitudes and how to best design your life to reflect your personal priorities. Having run successful businesses prior to Weirdly, both are fierce advocates for making brave choices and taking risks to create a life that allows you to do what you are passionate about.
This week, NZTech Women met in Auckland for breakfast. BNZ's Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), Lana West spoke about valuing diversity of identity and providing an inclusive workplace where people flourish. Lana recognised there are diverse ways of seeing the world and solving problems together. She explained that a competitive edge lies in our collective strength of experience, perspective, skills and culture. Diversity and inclusion need to be a long term business strategy for all employers.