ShadowTech gives 500 schoolgirls a taste of IT

ShadowTech, a program to enable secondary school girls in years 9 to 11 to get a feel for the IT industry by spending a day with a female IT executive, wraps up in Hamilton today after days after events in Auckland, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Dunedin earlier this month.

The Hamilton event brings to total number of participants in this year’s program to around 500.

The first ShadowTech Day for 2019 was held in Auckland on June 7 with more than 200 schoolgirls taking part. The organisers said dozens of companies had taken part, including Spark, Xero, Jade Software, Deloitte, Oracle and Clearpoint.

The Palmerston event on 14 June started at the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) with 24 students. UCOL said they had spent the day working with a range of local businesses and education providers including Nodero, UCOL, New Era, Fujitsu, Massey and FMG.

The program aims to increase in the number of females who choose STEM related subjects at a secondary and tertiary level and ultimately choose a career in tech. It is run by TechWomen with support from NZTech.

According to NZTech, in 2017, 36 percent of computer science and information technology students were female, and eight percent were Maori.

Citing the December 2017 report from industry/government working group, the Digital Skills Forum, NZTech said the it had concluded encouraging gender and cultural diversity to be “absolute key” to bridging the gap between supply and demand in the IT sector.

Also in 2017 NZTech championed the programme by citing research that it said showed tech firms with a balance of men and women made more money.

The programme was first run in 2014 under the name Shadow IT and changed to ShadowTech in 2016.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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