The tech industry in general suffers from a lack of women entering tech related study areas, many factors contribute to this. Xero has been working with She# this year to help educate women from high schools, university and industry about the opportunities available to them in the tech industry. She# believes the gender imbalance we see in tech related fields today is partially due to a misconception about these fields, and a preconception of who is expected to study and work in this area. She# were able to bring together a diverse group of companies which included NineTwenty, Orion Health, Google and Unitec, who along with Xero supported the two events.
For young women, education about the tech industry can help to break down barriers they may face. The Xero and She# events created an atmosphere where women of diverse backgrounds and ages can see how exciting and varied the tech industry is. She# hopes that by working with companies like Xero, they can provide a positive influence and help young women make informed decisions about their future careers.
She# in Wellington and Auckland
Xero’s first event with She# was held in Auckland, the second was the She# Wellington launch event. Both were centered around agile development and we were able to share a wealth of knowledge and experience from the Xero team. We heard from a range of Xero women including agile coaches, developers, quality assurance, customer experience specialists and education.
The 60+ attendees were introduced to basic Agile games. This fun activity allowed the participants to experience iterative improvements, the impact that it can have on our learning and overall productivity and gain insights into the foundations of our teamwork at Xero.
Xero was also delighted to host a panel session at each of the events, enabling our Xeros to connect with the women attending. One of the key messages that came out from the events is that the tech industry has a variety of options available, there is a right fit opportunity out there. Many Xeros highlighted the importance of completing study in something which you are passionate about.
Some of the feedback from the students attending indicated that they enjoyed gaining real exposure to a company. They enjoyed meeting a diverse range of Xeros and engaging in a practical workshop. Xero also recently took part in the MIT Shadow IT Day, where we were able to mentor young girls for a whole day, not just a few hours.
She# is one of the many initiatives working towards building up the next generation, they enable women through positive influence and encourage them to jump at opportunities that are presented to them. She# runs a variety of events throughout the year, you can find information and other events on their website.