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Wanted: Women for high-paid, diverse and exciting tech sector

20 Apr 17

The quest to inspire women and girls into tech jobs is far from over, and there are substantial opportunities within reach for the growing number of women who are showing interest in tech jobs.

That’s the word from NZTech government relations director Andrea Hancox, who says that in the past, computer programming jobs weren’t that appealing to women.

These days things are a bit different. Hancox says that the tech sector is the fastest-growing sector in the economy and it is creating plenty of jobs.

 “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,” Hancox explains.

So far 28,000 companies employ around 100,000 people in the tech sector. Opportunities range from software development to creatives, designers, business analysts, managers and engineers.

Research has also shown that tech firms with a balance of men and women make more money than those who don’t.

Tech firms have realised there’s an imbalance of the sexes – and now many are actively developing their businesses to help appeal to women.

“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.

Tech industry bodies are also helping with the cause. NZTech will run Shadow Tech Days around the country in May and June. These days aim to encourage schoolgirls into considering tech as a career.

So far, only 3% of schoolgirls aged 15 are considering an IT career. Women make up 23% of those employed in IT, but it’s also the highest paid and highest qualified of any sector in the country.

Shadow Tech Day is a collaboration between NZTech and the Manukau Institute of Technology, with support from the Ministry of Youth Development. The days will also involve hundreds of tech firms and other tertiary institutes.

Shadow Tech Days will be held from May 31 to June 22. Days will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“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,” Hancox concludes.

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