Filling the gap: Why improving diversity is key to NZ’s tech sector
Technology skills are in record demand, but diversity remains an issue. How can we make a change and attract local talent into tech careers?
The future of New Zealand’s tech sector is significantly important to our local economy. With annual earnings around $14B, the industry is a substantial contributor to our GDP.
It’s also a sector that is growing fast, with a study conducted by NZTech in July 2021 revealing there were 180 firms looking for 2,156 people to fill critical digital roles at that time.
Yet, despite the urgent need for more skilled talent and expertise in technology development, some population demographics are still not equally represented in the industry.
The Digital Skills Aotearoa Report (2021) highlights that in education, just 39% of technology standards participants in New Zealand are female. In the workforce, women account for just 27% of those working in digital technology roles. The same report also revealed that in education, Pacific peoples accounted for just 9% of technology standards participants, while workforce representation is just 3%.
We all have a role and responsibility to change this representation and ensure we can continue expanding the local tech talent pool. So, what can we do to help support and encourage more women and other diverse local talent into the sector? And how could this boost the future of the industry?
Our panel will explore the challenges Aotearoa is facing in attracting more local talent into the tech sector, what needs to be done to encourage more women into tech, existing programmes and channels seeking to improve racial diversity in the sector, and how businesses can also play a part in changing the faces of the industry.
The panel discussion will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A from the audience.