New Zealand’s technology sector is the fastest growing industry in the country and currently supports 120,350 jobs1. However, it’s also one of the most male-dominated sectors in the country – something that could be holding the industry back.
The active inclusion of women within the technology sector may seem like a pointless endeavour to some, but in reality there are a number of massive benefits that a diversified workforce can bring to both your company and the wider economy.
Here, we look into the ways that a gender diverse tech team can see your start-up go from strength to strength.
The current state of gender diversity in New Zealand tech
New Zealand’s tech sector may be performing better than other parts of the world in terms of gender diversity.
Despite making up approximately half of our population, women represent less than a third of workers within the tech sector in New Zealand. The New Zealand Digital Skills Forum surveyed 142 organisations toward the end of 2017 and found that only 27 per cent of employees were female1.
New Zealand may, however, be performing better than other parts of the world in terms of gender diversity. Just over a fifth (21 per cent) of startups within the country were founded by women, notably higher than the global average of 16 per cent2.
That said, there is certainly room for improvement in creating a truly diverse industry.
The potential benefits of gender diversity
Diversity is proving to be a great success for tech giant Microsoft.
It’s time to forget the term “positive discrimination”. Encouraging women to join the tech sector is not only about equality – it has the potential to improve the performance of your business.
When designing and testing new software for a wide audience, different personas are required to test products. These personas are created to model specific demographics and gain their unique perspective. While helpful, these can never replace the value a real person can bring. With women on your tech team, you can have real reactions and insights into how a wider demographic would respond to your product.
Diversity is proving to be a great success for tech giant Microsoft. The company’s massive turnaround to a 35 per cent share price increase in the past year has been attributed to the increasingly prominent role of female executives. Executive Vice-President of Business Development and engineer Peggy Johnson says that Microsoft’s recent growth can be linked to building teams that tap the benefits of a broad range of personalities3.
Diversification of your staff should begin in your leadership team. At 920 Career Agents, we want to put you in touch with the best executive candidates for the future of your company. Get in touch with us today to start diversifying your team.
1– New Zealand Digital Skills Forum, Digital Skills for a Digital Nation report.
2– Startup Genome, Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017.
3– Australian Financial Review, Gender diversity drives Satya Nadella’s Microsoft resurgence to new levels.