How to develop the next generation of business technology leaders

A look at some of the programmes that aim to build a pipeline of digital talent for today and in the future.

  • Transpower has put its support behind ShadowTech Day 2017, providing workplace mentors to female students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. Students attending are from a range of schools across the Wellington region including Kuranui College, Queen Margaret, Sacred Heart, Marsden, Tawa and Wellington High. Transpower Chief Executive Alison Andrew says gender diversity remains a significant issue, particularly in technical professions. “While we’re seeing more women studying technology and engineering, we still have some work to do to attract and retain more women in the workplace. This represents a largely untapped pool of talent for the tech industry. One of the ways we can improve these numbers is to promote the many career opportunities available to young women studying STEM subjects.” “Transpower is very focused on increasing diversity in our workplace. Despite a very encouraging increase in our diversity statistics over the last few years, our own company is still largely male-dominated in our technical areas, due in part to a limited number of female students entering into science and technology and progressing into the engineering profession.”

  • Transpower CEO Alison Andrew says: “ShadowTech Day is a good way for us to help showcase the wide variety of career choices that are available in the technology and engineering industries. It’s not just overalls and hardhats!” “As an industry, we’re entering a period of rapid change and uncertainty with new technologies emerging which will change the way our business, and others, operate. The tech sector is growing faster than ever, and creating lots of new and interesting job opportunities for our young people.” “By offering our support and knowledge this ShadowTech Day, we’re hoping to encourage these young women into the technology and engineering sector and equip them the support and knowledge to make positive decisions about their future.”

  • Shadow Tech Day was held in Auckland, where students from various schools spent the day with ICT teams in various technology focused companies. Nicole Van Heerden, a student Howick College who spent the day at Sanfield, said: “I learnt I don’t have to be intimidated that the IT industry is male dominated, they boosted my confidence and made me feel that I can pursue a career in IT.”

  • Jessica Hunter, a student at the Diocesan School for girls visited Plan B, and noted: “It was interesting to find out that there are so many different jobs in IT and you don’t have to decide now. If you want to go into IT you can decide later.”

  • Aspiring student leaders from schools across Auckland also spent the day walking in the footsteps of business greats as part of the AUT Business and Law Schools’ Shadow a Leader programme. Now in its fifth year, Shadow a Leader matches a year 13 student and an AUT business or law student with a business leader.

  • “We piloted Shadow a Leader back in 2012. Very bravely we had four teams made up of four high school students, four Business and Law students and four leaders,” says Dean of AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Kate Kearins. AUT Business, Economics and Law Schools wouldn’t have been able to grow Shadow a Leader to more than 150 students without the generosity of business leaders prepared to share their time and expertise, Dr Kearins says.“AUT’s close connections with business offer the next generation of leaders a unique insight into what great leadership looks like.”

  • Wendy Hammonds, general manager people and capability at Foodstuffs North Island; Greg Sheehan, RightWay accounting; Michael Barnett, CEO Auckland Chamber of Commerce; Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island.

  • Roger Stokell Associate Dean, International and Engagement and Mike Marr, TPT Group

  • Shadow Tech Day

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