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.
Research has shown that tech firms with a balance of men and women make more money and, because there are less women than men in the sector, many firms are actively developing their businesses and roles to make them more attractive for women, she says.
To get more females into tech jobs, NZTech is helping organise Shadow Tech Days all over New Zealand from May 31 through to June 22 to help companies give schoolgirls a peek at the life they could create if they take on a career in tech.
The Shadow Tech Days will take place in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Produced with the support of the Ministry of Youth Development, Shadow Tech Day is a collaboration between NZTech and the Manukau Institute of Technology bringing together tech firms and other tertiary institutes throughout New Zealand, to connect hundreds of schoolgirls with the possibilities of tech.
The tech sector is growing faster than any other part of the New Zealand economy and it is creating lots of new and interesting jobs, Hancox says.
Only three percent of 15-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls consider a career in IT. Women make up only 23 percent of those employed in IT occupations but the tech sector has the highest paid and highest qualified employees of any industry.
With more than 28,000 companies employing around 100,000 people the tech sector has a growing number of opportunities from traditional software development roles to creatives, designers, business analysts, managers and engineers.
“Tech roles are not just limited to the tech sector. With more and more industries deploying technologies Shadow Tech Day is helping to expose future career opportunities for young girls in technology within airlines, banks, schools and almost all sectors.
“The tech sector is growing at a pace that means new talent is in demand. This has resulted in the tech sector having some of the highest salaries around without the same costs of education as jobs such as law and medicine.
“The sector growth also means job prospects are high with exciting new companies and tech roles emerging every year. Jobs like drone engineers or artificial intelligence designers didn’t exist a couple of years ago, so we expect to see new job opportunities continuing to emerge that we can’t even envisage,” Hancox says.