ShadowTech – getting girls into tech mode

News News & events

20 Jun 2017

Ara is hosting Canterbury’s Shadowtech event on Thursday 22 June, which connects young women in years 9 - 11 at secondary school with women working in the tech sector, for a day.

Just 3% of 15-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls consider a career in tech, according to NZTech, the national organisation charged with taking NZ from ‘Tech Sector to Digital Nation’.

Shadowtech 2016 -  Mentor and engineer Harriet Bond from Harrison Grierson with secondary school students.

Attracting girls into tech is essential – for the girls who might otherwise miss out on well-paid and rewarding careers, for the employers of the 100,000 people currently working in tech who need more skilled staff and for NZ, because tech is our fastest growing industry.

During ShadowTech, 94 students from 18 schools are each allocated a mentor from companies as diverse as Orion Health, Spark and eStar. They ‘shadow’ their mentor for a day to see what a job in tech looks like, while learning about the diversity of roles in the tech sector, the opportunities for a well-paid career and the study pathways needed to get there along the way.

ShadowTech aims to increase the number of females choosing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related subjects at a secondary and tertiary level - and ultimately a career in tech. NZTech helps to organise the event nationally.

Opening the event for Christchurch is the impressive 19 year-old Romy Gellen, who is working for Digital Confectioners game studio. Kate Clode from Intergen is the keynote speaker and Sophie Kennedy from Fulton Hogan is the other industry speaker.

Employers are looking for graduates of computing programmes including diplomas and degrees. There are pathways to help all learners get started in the exciting world of ICT.

Ara offers a range of certificates, diplomas and the Bachelor of Information and Communication Technologies and the Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technologies, or straight into employment. Ara also offers Computing for Free to get help people get started.

ShadowTech is a valuable opportunity to encourage more young women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related careers.

Year 9 and 10 is a critical subject-decision making time. Exposing students to a real workplace setting, and giving them the chance to engage in meaningful career conversations with female role models in ICT and engineering can have a huge influence on subject and pathway decision making.

Watch: Girls Rocking ShadowTech at Ara

Find out more: Ara Computing programmes.  

Read the story: Women Rush to Mentor Tech Girls 2016

Read the story: eStar on a mission to attract and keep IT talent

Find out more: ShadowTech by NZTech