Young New Zealand female students have the opportunity to be mentored by high profile Kiwi tech companies at ShadowTech Days around the country next month.
The first ShadowTech Day for 2019 will be held in Auckland next Friday (June 7) with well over 200 schoolgirls taking part around the city.
More ShadowTech events will be held in Christchurch on June 11, in Palmerston North on June 14, Dunedin on June 18 and in Hamilton on June 27, bringing the total to almost 500 girls involved.
Many businesses and organisations are involved for ShadowTech as they see the value it has and how they are able to influence the future workforce of the tech industry in New Zealand and by creating more diversity in the workplace.
Among the dozens of companies taking part include Spark, Xero, Jade Software, Deloitte, Oracle and Clearpoint. The events do not have government support any more.
NZTech organiser Edwina Mistry says 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 the girls to go back to school and seriously review their subject choices and career opportunities,” she says.
“Being mentored for a day helps to ignite interest and encourage young females to consider careers in the tech industry.
“The benefits of ShadowTech Day really help the New Zealand tech industry. ShadowTech Day definitely inspires schoolgirls to get into a tech career.
“The New Zealand tech sector has an ongoing need for employees, yet women are in the minority, occupying about only a quarter of tech jobs overall,” she says.
Mistry says 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.
The more highly educated women are, the better their job and the higher the pay. More women into tech will create greater diversity in the workplace, she says.
NZTech is encouraging more females to consider a career in technology and it wants to help increase the number of females who choose science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related subjects at a secondary and tertiary level.