Female employees account for just 23 per cent of the tech industry workforce, and a new national campaign has been launched today to try and balance that number out.
The New Zealand Technology Industry Association is aiming to reach female school and university students, and dispel the well-entrenched stereotype that technology is exclusively a “boys’ topic”.
“It’s multiple reasons, so from a very early age, technology is genderised, stereotyped.
“Technology is kind of like a boys topic, ‘why would girls be interested?’ It’s really that simple,” NZ Tech national director Andrea Hancox said.
NZ Tech’s research has found that tech firms with a 50/50 gender split are 40 per cent more profitable.
Explaining this promising number Hancox said:
“It’s definitely about the diverse range of opinions and decisions and essentially New Zealand’s not just made up of men, there’s women in there as well, so you need to make decisions and products for the whole range of the population.”
The national campaign from NZ Tech aims to target young girls at school age, to encourage the possibility of eventually working in the tech industry.
Their program, ShadowTeck, guides girls years 9 to 11 towards technology by providing them with a female mentor already working in the field for a day.
Hancox said she is hopeful the number of women in tech courses around New Zealand will soon raise from the 10 to 15 per cent it currently stands at as a result.