Edwina Mistry from ShadowTech mentoring girls about technology

Encouraging females into technology

by Ann van Engelen

Young female students will be mentored by high profile Kiwi tech companies at ShadowTech Day in Christchurch on June 11.

“Many businesses and organisations are involved for ShadowTech Day as they see the value it has. They are able to influence the future workforce of the tech industry in New Zealand and create more diversity in the workplace,” says NZTech organiser Edwina Mistry. “Dozens of companies take part including Spark, Xero, Jade Software, Deloitte, Oracle and Clearpoint. ShadowTech is an award-winning event and one of the few programmes that are empowering, educating and creating opportunities for schoolgirls to learn first-hand by connecting with industry and mentors.

This enables them to go back to school and seriously review their subject choices and career opportunities. Being mentored for a day helps to ignite interest and encourage young females to consider careers in the tech industry.

“The benefits really help the industry and definitely inspires schoolgirls to get into a tech career. The sector has an ongoing need for employees, yet women are in the minority, occupying about only a quarter of tech jobs overall. It is vital for New Zealand’s economic future that more women participate fully in technology. This means encouraging more women to participate in tertiary level study, including at the highest levels.”

Mrs Mistry says the more highly educated women are, the better their job and the higher the pay and greater diversity in the workplace.

“NZTech wants to help increase the number of females who choose science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related subjects at a secondary and tertiary level.”

To attend ShadowTech register online at shadowtech.nz by 5pm Thursday, June 6.