We regard equality and diversity to be of high importance and are areas we believe should be addressed in the wider technology community. Everyone should have access to the same educational opportunities, experiences and be able to enter a workplace they are passionate about. Regardless of gender. This includes the opportunity for young women to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). We believe that the acceptance of diversity will lead to innovation and growth for businesses and the community. While we aim to put this into practice every day, we hope our efforts have ongoing implications for the wider community.
75% of the fastest growing jobs require STEM skills. This means that current students need to learn and participate in educational activities which facilitate the development of these skills. We have identified a pressing need for the women in our community to access these educational experiences. This is as 28% of the employed, STEM-qualified Australian workforce are female. Specifically, 14% of females work in engineering and 25% are in the information and communications technology (ICT) careers.
Additionally, technology industry does not current display equality. According to various, developed technology companies’ diversity reports, the total percentage of female employees is between 26% to 43%. These numbers are even lower in regard to development roles. We believe that for our industry to thrive, we need the skills of every passionate individual, male or female. Therefore these statistics are something we desire to change. To guide students to the workplace, our first job is to close this identified gender gap.
To help with this issue, we have dedicated many resources to educational opportunities in an effort to increase participation in STEM-based fields. Our learning opportunities mainly include workshops and work experience. Through these initiatives we provide advice, encouragement and support to students interested in STEM.
We are proud to partner with the University of Wollongong (UOW) and equip women with technological skills. Providing opportunities for women in STEM is high on their agenda as well as encouraging diversity. They action change through initiatives like their STEM Camp for Girls. This camp provides participants with a hands-on workshop and industry experience. The industries include areas such as sustainability, renewable energies, humanitarian aid biomedicine.
With UOW, we have been able to offer young women the opportunity to learn about technology and software. These experiences are offered, with a long-term benefit in mind. This is to equip students with knowledge and skills so that they are able to pursue a STEM-based career. We aim to equip students so they are prepared to follow their passion with confidence.
It is great to see a respected institution such as UOW become proactively involved in addressing diversity. We look forward to further collaboration so that together, we can provide learning opportunities to young women in the Illawarra.
You can read more about Ken Kencevski at the founder's blog.