Closing the gender gap in the NZ tech space...
Traditionally the technology industry was a male dominated field, but in today’s world coding, computer engineering and java jobs are not restricted access for females.
And as the technology sector continues it’s pace turning into the largest booming industry, you would think there would be an increasing amount of women entering the arena.
Here's the second part of the New Zealand debate around women in IT...
Efforts are also being made in New Zealand to encourage and inspire women into considering pursuing an IT job.
Microsoft New Zealand has donated $1 million in cash, software and services investment to the High Teach Youth Network, designed to provide pathways for young Kiwis to start a career in the IT industry.
Unitec in Auckland ran a competition aimed at getting more Kiwi women IT jobs, IT lecturer Masha Mohaghegh has only three female students in a class of 100 and sees that ‘”not enough women are coming to this field in the future’”.
Mohaghegh organised a girls-only app competition, where the winning prize was an $18,000 scholarship to complete a bachelor of computer systems. It’s the institutes small way of trying to address a very real issue.
Another Auckland based group, Girl Geek Coffees, is a meet and greet discussion group for women in STEM industries. Girl Geek Coffees is sponsored by Google via the Google Coffee ClubAmbassador program and can be found at universities in all major cities in New Zealand.
NZTech has a 100% female staff ratio (i.e. Candance Kinser). Candace Kinser, CEO of NZTech confirmed; “The reality is that we also contract in ONZL for support, and the staff that helps just happens to be all female.
"Our Board has a diversity policy and we are supportive of representation of women, minorities, all ages and backgrounds participating in our events and of course being part of the group”.
Women Tech Execs – as part of NZTech – also works closely with other organisations such as MIT (Manukau Institute of Technology) to create events like Shadow IT where young women from Manukau will ‘shadow’ a technology executive the day.
“We believe that the best way to encourage young women into the sector is to provide mentorship and to lead by example," she adds.
"Sending people in to speak in front of masses of kids at schools about how great a career in tech can be is one thing, but actually pulling out kids from their comfort zone and having them walk in the shoes of a person who actually works in the field is a totally different level.
"We are proud to be founding supporters of this initiative”.
Recent research from Absolute IT shows that based on a sample of 9869 (from the last 24 months) salary entries into itsalaries.co.nz, men working in the New Zealand IT industry are only paid 1.9% more than women.
There is a clear trend that shows women often earn equal or even more than men at lower and mid career stages, however at a management level we see a clear jump in what men earn compared to women.
In the management category men are earning 11% more than women, compared with BA (Business Analyst) where they earn equally and helpdesk support where women earn 3% more.
“As these are median base salaries, it is important to factor in the likelihood that many senior tech roles are held by men," adds Absolute IT director Grant Burley
“This of course would push up the median for male salaries. However, that fact does not address the problem of how we get more women into management.”
Median base salary in tech
Male – $80K and 32% receive bonuses/commissions
Female – $78,500 28% receive bonuses/commissions
Median base rate/hour
Male - $90/hr and 3% receive bonuses/commissions
Female - $85/hr and 1% receive bonuses/commissions
For part one click here