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.
This year, we have already met twice and there are a number of significant work streams underway. We know that only 3% of 15-year-old girls are considering a career in computing professions, but we would like to see more research done in this space. We are looking for opportunities to develop research in the area of diversity at a local level. In partnership with MBIE, we are also exploring potential for Returnship programmes.
Next month, NZTech Women is hosting the first Diversity and Inclusion Forum for Major Corporate members. This will be an opportunity for influencers within these organisations to collaborate on ways to address diversity and inclusion in the wider sector.
We are also working on a very exciting programme to showcase the best and brightest women in STEAM careers from around New Zealand. We believe that in order to inspire the next generation of New Zealand talent, we need to provide information and access to local role models. Our new initiative that is still under wraps, will certainly do this!
Meanwhile, we are continuing to grow our existing initiatives like ShadowTech Day. Earlier this year, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced additional investment of $75,000 which will allow the programme to extend beyond the main cities and reach Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Dunedin. ShadowTech Day is also supported by Google, Oracle and founding partner MIT. This year we are also working with tertiary institutes to partner female tertiary tech students with attendees to continue exploring career options.
To connect NZTech Women we continue to host regular events. We kicked the year off in Christchurch, then last month we celebrated International Women’s Day in Auckland and Wellington. For new event listings, sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!
We look forward to keeping you updated on everything NZTech Women. Follow us on @NZTechIA , #NZTechWomen, Facebook and join our LinkedIn group. If you are would like to know more about our work streams please contact us.