NACEW brought together some of New Zealand’s leading innovative thinkers at two Women in Innovation Summits. The purpose of these Summits was to explore the opportunities and barriers to increasing women's participation in the technology sector. Technology is driving and enabling innovation and is one of the biggest growth industries in New Zealand.
NACEW has prepared a report summarising the findings and recommendations arising from the two Summits as well as a more detailed appendix outlining the opportunities, barriers and recommendations discussed by participants to increase women's participation in the digital technology sector.
You can download the summary of recommendations and the full report of the discussions here:
Take a look at what the speakers at the summit had to say. Click here to view videos.
At the Summits we found out about some great initiaitives currently underway to help more women succeed in technology. Take at look at this list of initiaves and groups for women in tech here. If you want to add another initiative to this list, please contact us.
KEY THEMES FROM THE SUMMITS
- We need to increase the number of women who graduate with Information Technology qualifications to help meet the demand for skilled technology professionals.
- We need to raise the visibility of Information Technology as an appealing career option for girls. Many people lack of awareness of the fantastic opportunities that a career in the technology sector has to offer. It was also noted that parts of the technology sector have an image that is not necessarily aspirational to women and girls. More female role models need to be widely profiled if this is to change.
- The gender balance of companies should reflect their customer base. Acknowledging that women make 80 percent of all household technology purchases, companies would be better positioned to meet their customer’s needs by employing more women to be involved in the design and development process. We need to encourage all technology employers to see the benefits of employing more women.
- Confidence remains a barrier for many women in terms of choosing, advancing and talking about their careers in all sectors. We need to find ways to assist women to develop strategies to change this reality.
- Encouraging girls interests in a range of subjects, including technology from a young age. Parents are key influencers and can encourage young people to embrace the opportunities technology presents even if technology is unfamiliar to them. Often it seems that mums can discourage their daughter's from considering Information Technology as a career choice from a young age. If we are to persuade young women to consider a career in Information Technology, then we will also need to enlighten their mothers.
- The style of delivery of education in New Zealand is not necessarily keeping pace with the rapid advancements in the technology sector. Education is still delivered within subject silos, yet technology presents an opportunity to seamlessly integrate learning across subjects that would make it more relevant to the workplace. Improvements could be made around the integration of technology in schools and teacher training and professional development.
INFOGRAPHIC ON WOMEN IN THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR