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Women's Leadership Symposium - STEM sector attendance grants available

Peter Griffin, contributor. 03 August 2021, 10:10 am

Entrepreneur Theresa Gattung, journalist Alison Mau and the director-general of the Security Intelligence Service, Rebecca Kitteridge, will headline the Women's Leadership Symposium in Auckland next month.

The organisers of the 2-day Auckland event scheduled for September 1-2, Women & Leadership New Zealand, is also offering partial attendance grants to IT Professionals New Zealand staff and members. 

The $800 per person grant for women working in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) sector effectively reduces the cost of attending to $895. Attendance grants are limited to 50 in number and not available through the symposium website. You can find out more information about them and how to apply here.

"Attended by women from all sectors and industries, the events represent the best way to connect with the national gender equity debate and hear the latest thinking on all things women and leadership," the symposium organisers said.

The 2019 MYOB Women in Tech report, highlighted some of the lingering gender imbalances in our tech sector. Nearly half of the industry's female leaders have personally experienced gender bias during their career according to the report which featured responses from 380 female business leaders.

Just 25% of local technology businesses have equal representation in their leadership teams, while only one in ten tech businesses work to actively address discrimination and less than half pay their female employees the same as men in the same role. 

With around a quarter of the tech workforce women, disparities in pay and 

"This lack of representation starts from early in their careers," the report noted.

Women underrepresented in STEM

"Young women are less likely to study ICT, computer science and other STEM-related fields at university. According to NZTech, only 36% of computer science and information technology students were female in 2016. Data from the Ministry of Education also highlights that 82% of engineering students were male in 2015."

The organisation Tech Women is currently seeking to find out more about how tech businesses support women seeking to return to work after taking career breaks to have children. 

"This has been on TechWomen's agenda for some time, and it is gaining momentum given how tech is polarising business in the current climate," Tech Women wrote in a June update.

"So, have you or your partner returned to the tech sector after a parental leave or a career break? Are you or do you know of someone who is currently in another industry but looking to return to tech? Does your organisation have a "return to work" programme (or is it considering putting one in place)?"

You can help out Tech Women by sharing your own experiences here.

You can apply for a Women in Leadership Symposium attendance grant here.



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