‘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.
“Having role models who are the same gender as you, who look like you, who came from a similar background as yours, can go a long way,” says Vox Media, Senior Front-End Designer, Alisha Ramos. How much would you have appreciated a helping hand and a supportive female mentor when you were breaking into the industry? Your enthusiasm and experience could be the driving force behind a change in perception among young women today.
Being a mentor is an enriching and empowering experience for many women in the industry. This is your chance to lead a bright new generation of women into the wonderful world of tech! ShadowTech Day is an easy way to share your passion for technology and light the same fire within the younger generation.
ShadowTech Day was founded by MIT and is delivered in partnership with NZTech. The program offers the opportunity to partner up female tech experts with a female student between Years 9 and 11 at secondary school, to give them insight to what a typical working day consists of. Students will also gain insight into tech career pathways and encourage any interest in pursuing technology related subjects in further school years.
If you choose to participate as a mentor in ShadowTech Day, you will have the chance to:
- Show your partnered student (mentee), around your workplace
- Show your mentee first-hand what meetings are like in your daily routine
- Get to know the background and interests of your mentee over lunch
- Provide support to them in their future study choices
You may be thinking, ‘what’s in it for me?’ Why volunteer as a mentor? Not only do you get the chance to meet a talented and curious student and learn about their interests and background, but you also get to show them that the tech industry is an exciting career choice. You can help improve our sector and pave the way for a more innovative and diverse tech sector in New Zealand. So let’s get out there and inspire our next female tech experts to follow their passions and land exciting, new roles in the tech world! Be involved and register as a mentor.
Alice Moore is the Digital Director at Mint Design, a Christchurch based digital agency serving organisations locally and globally to help market themselves online. Alice launched her career in a tech startup where she was the only female, among a sea of male web programmers. She spends most of her days with her team in her Christchurch office overlooking the Estuary, drinking coffee and answering an unrelenting stream of emails.
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