Tackling the tech sector gender gap

tech-sector-gender-gap-eva-sherwood-1Facing a future where AI (artificial intelligence) plays a growing role in business will require the expertise of the best and brightest men and women.

According to the World Economic Forum, New Zealand ranks as the seventh ‘most gender equal country’, and yet only 26 percent of Kiwis involved in the technology sector are women, director of industry body NZTech, Eva Sherwood, confirms.

“More effort needs to be made to address the gender diversity gap, especially in technology… Men hold almost all of the governance positions, most of the leadership positions and a greater proportion of the individual roles in our businesses.”

To help address this issue, NZTech provides programmes for mentoring and designed to attract young women into the industry. However, both men and women need to play their part, Ms Sherwood contends.

“The tech industry has been talking about the value of better gender balance in the workplace and increasing the number of women in leadership, for decades,” she says.

“We won’t make significant progress without the majority of our tech sector actively supporting us. Until we start engaging men in the diversity conversation the weight of the problem will continue to fall, unfairly, on our female shoulders… The power to change the gender diversity gap in tech sits with all of us.”