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Women encouraged back into technology

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/09/2017

The pilot, Return to IT, has been launched by the Ministry of Business and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry for Women. © Getty Images The pilot, Return to IT, has been launched by the Ministry of Business and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry for Women. Women with a technology background are being encouraged to return to the sector in a pilot programme aimed at addressing the gender imbalance.

The pilot, Return to IT, has been launched by the Ministry of Business and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry for Women.

The aim is to help women with a digital technology background to return to work in the sector after taking a break of two to five years.

Successful applicants will be offered the chance to be placed with a participating organisation, or assistance with seeking employment.

MBIE policy director Kim Connolly-Stone says women occupy less than a quarter of technically skilled professions in digital technology in New Zealand.

"It's critical that we address this imbalance, given the opportunities associated with this exciting and growing sector, including higher than average wages," she said.

"However, we know it can be hard for women who have taken a career break to feel fully supported or confident about their return to work."

In May, NZTech board member Eva Sherwood, who chaired a meeting on diversity, said research was needed into how to attract and keep women in the sector.

International research show that just 3 per cent of 15-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls consider a career in technology, while women make up only 23 per cent of those employed in tech-related occupations.

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