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Jobs for the boys and girls

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The perception that a job for life is a thing of the past has been around for a while now, fostered by the effects of disruptive technology.

As a co-founder and director of Company-X, the fastest growing technology company in the fastest growing technology region in the country, I argue that a job for life is still possible for some in the technology sector for precisely the same reason. Innovation is our business. It’s our job to find new and exciting ways to do things for our clients and make life better for them and their customers as we go.

The possibilities are endless.

But there is a global shortage of information technology professionals. Technology sector growth internationally outstrips the number of IT graduates, making great developers rarer than gold.

No sooner have we hired new talent for either new or growing projects at Company-X than we are on the lookout for more software superheroes to join the Company-X men and women.

Men outnumber women in technology-related jobs four to one internationally which means only 20 per cent of the technology-related workforce are women.

This is a shocking statistic for the enlightened 21st century.

The world needs to more than double the amount of female IT graduates in order for women to catch up with men in this space.

One of the reasons that the percentage of women is so low is because, in most cases, secondary school girls are not given the same encouragement as boys to study for careers in science, engineering, technology and mathematics. It’s just not traditional. Careers for many women are in teaching and nursing are still the norm for many.

Company-X software architect Rachel Primrose smashes that stereotype as one of our best and brightest. Rachel was a finalist in this year’s Reseller News Women in ICT Awards in the technical category. Who better to challenge secondary school girls to think wider about their career options?

This year Company-X sent Rachel to Hamilton Girls’ High School as part of our ongoing commitment to Smart Waikato’s Secondary School Employer Partnership. We’ve supported the partnership for years with regular visits to Hamilton Boys’ High School, but are delighted to be able to extend our work to Girls’ High. As well as taking lessons there, Rachel invited her classes to the Company-X office where they saw how our team works and met other women in the company.

We had wonderful feedback from the school and Smart Waikato, but all of that is meaningless if it makes no difference to the students. Thanks to Rachel some of the girls, who had previously written off a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, have decided to keep their options open and pursue a career in these fields.

The University of Waikato is a natural progression from school, with a world-leading Computer Science department.

Waikato graduates are an integral part of Company-X’s growth as well as the region’s technology sector. Helping address the shortage of women in technology-related jobs will also help grow our company and the region. This is a win-win for everybody.

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About Author

David Hallett

David Hallett is a director of Hamilton software specialist Company-X.