In the dynamic world of technology, New Zealand's tech sector stands as a beacon of innovation and opportunity. However, a critical issue persists: the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers, particularly in the tech industry. According to the New Zealand Digital Skills Forum, only 23% of professional IT roles are occupied by women. Addressing this gender imbalance is not only a matter of social justice but also crucial for unlocking the full potential of the industry. In this blog, we delve into the challenges faced by women in tech, explore initiatives promoting gender diversity, and discuss the impact of all-female teams in encouraging more women to enter and thrive in the tech sector.
The Current Landscape:
The statistics are clear – women are underrepresented in tech, and the reasons are multifaceted. From societal pressures on girls to follow traditional career paths to biases in higher education and the workplace, the barriers are many. A striking observation is the low number of girls considering high-paid STEM careers, reflecting a systemic issue that needs urgent attention.
Initiatives for Change:
Thankfully, organisations like TechWomen and Women in Tech are actively working to dismantle these barriers. They focus on empowering and supporting women in the technology sector, aiming to create a more inclusive and diverse industry. The question then becomes: how can individuals and teams contribute to this transformation?
Supporting Diversity in the Workplace:
Recruiters play a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of the tech industry. An all-female recruitment team can be a powerful force for change. These teams can advocate for flexibility in job roles, accommodating the needs of working mothers and individuals seeking work-life balance. By actively encouraging diverse candidates, running gender-neutral job ads, and fostering an inclusive environment, these teams contribute significantly to dismantling gender stereotypes.
The Personal Touch:
To gain insights into the impact of all-female teams in tech recruitment, we spoke with Katie, a member of TribeTech. Katie emphasises the collaborative nature of her team, highlighting that gender doesn't define them – it just happens that they are all female. Katie, who recently returned from maternity leave, appreciates the understanding and support she receives from her team, demonstrating that an inclusive environment is crucial for women to thrive in the tech sector.
Breaking Down Stereotypes:
The team at TribeTech recognises the importance of breaking down stereotypes that might deter women from applying for roles. They plan to incorporate language in their job ads explicitly welcoming candidates who may ‘feel’ they may not meet every criteria but possess the essential skills and enthusiasm. This approach aims to encourage more women to apply and fosters a culture where diversity is celebrated.
The Impact of All-Female Teams:
Katie's experience in the female tech space reveals a strong sense of camaraderie and support among women. She notes that women often feel more comfortable being their authentic selves in an all-female environment, which facilitates deeper relationships. This camaraderie extends beyond professional milestones, providing a robust support system for personal and career growth.
As the tech sector in New Zealand continues to evolve, fostering diversity should be at the forefront of industry initiatives. All-female teams, like the one at TribeTech, play a crucial role in reshaping the narrative around women in tech. By addressing biases, breaking down stereotypes, and actively supporting women in their career journeys, we can collectively create a more inclusive and vibrant tech industry that harnesses the talents of all its members, irrespective of gender.
Are you looking for your next Tech role and unsure about the next step in your career? Talk to Katie and see where 2024 could have in store for you!
Infrastructure & Architecture | Auckland