IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

IWD 2021: Making the tech sector more diverse by making it relatable

By Contributor
Mon 8 Mar 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Cloudera A/NZ solutions engineering manager Renee Dvir.

Technology companies and IT are often seen as a boys club, with men sitting behind computer screens coding. To open the sector up and get more women involved, we must change that narrative and view those in the sector as problem solvers. 

Gender diversity is still a problem in the Australian technology sector, the workforce is heavily dominated by men. However, for the industry to remain competitive on a global scale, diversity and inclusion need to be prioritised.

From an early age, girls are taught that building and engineering are for boys, and girls should focus on the arts - you only need to look around your local toy store to see which toys are marketed to boys compared to those for girls. I believe it’s from that point that we are discouraging girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and that needs to change.

When we get to university, the gender imbalance is clear. Only nine percent of women study STEM courses, compared to 35% of men. This could be different if we changed the way we viewed technology roles from an early age.

To get our future generations interested in technology, I am involved in the Tech Girls Movement Foundation. It is a competition for girls aged seven to 16 in Australia and New Zealand, and this year I am a coordinator of the competition at two Sydney schools. The program focuses on technology and how technology can solve problems. Solving problems is something we can all get behind and get passionate about, and the teams of girls work to find an answer for community problems with a technical solution.

The winner from last year created an app to help families with disabled children find their nearest disabled-friendly playground. The work the girls do in the competition shows them the power that technology solutions have to fix real world problems - it opens them up to the vast opportunities that working in the tech sector can offer.

They are also paired with mentors in the industry who give them access to real life, women working in tech role models. More work like this needs to be done from an early age to show girls that careers in technology are not just men sitting in dark rooms coding on a computer, but instead is focused on solving real world problems that truly can make a difference to people’s lives.

This message sometimes gets lost in the technical jargon. Solving problems is something women can relate to just as much, or sometimes, even more so than men. To get more diversity in our industry, we really need to talk about technology in more creative ways.  While having the ability to explain deep technical insights is important, as an industry we also need more compelling stories that engage and inspire.

We need to explain the positive impact that technology is having on society, like the playground app I mentioned earlier.  Another good example is the role data analytics tools are playing in the pandemic response.  Data analytics technology is being used by healthcare providers to provide faster and more efficient real time data to help deliver more effective vaccine programs for patients.  This is a story that we can all relate to.  

Within the tech sector itself, the imbalance of gender diversity at the top of an organisation plays a role in how it attracts women and different ethnic groups who choose to study and pursue a career in the technology industry. It is vital that we address the diversity barrier within our organisations to show women there are prosperous careers waiting for them in our industry and they will flourish and be happy here too.

We know that creating gender equality will not be fixed overnight, but we need to realise it will take societal change within the technology sector to make it happen. We need to acknowledge that gender bias is prevalent in everything, including how we recruit.

It is important that we do more than just open the door to women, but actively invite women to the table instead of waiting for them to apply for vacant roles. What I learnt from the Tech Girls Movement - and in my career in general - is that women need to be asked to take part, and once they are tapped on the shoulder, the talent they have will be unleashed and will benefit the organisation.

International Women’s Day is a reminder that we in the technology sector need to play an active part in supporting women into our industry, and we need to be active and supportive from an early age. The results will mean we attract more women into our workplace, and we will encourage and grow our future workforce and leaders.

I entered the exciting field of data after a career in video tech, and despite coming from a different background, I knew the future will be built on data and I wanted to be a part of it. It has been exciting to work in an industry where data technology solves problems. Being a part of building the next enterprise data cloud platform means I am part of solving problems for a large range of different use cases. Every customer has a different story about how deriving insight from data can solve problems such as cybersecurity, predictive maintenance, IoT and lots more.

In the organisation I am part of, we have a strong female leadership in Australia, and that is not because we promote women ahead of men, it's because we are a meritocracy - we have great women with large amounts of talent and they got those roles on merit. There is a huge value that diversity and inclusion brings to any business. It makes us well positioned to be competitive, meet the needs of our customers and the market by having a rich array of backgrounds to embrace when making decisions. It also makes the workplace more interesting and fun.

Going forward, I will continue to lead by example and be a voice for creating an equitable workforce. Together we are raising the profile of this issue by being a sponsor of International Women’s Day and expanding our sponsorship program. To advance our own members, we are investing in ways for our employees to grow their skill sets, offer inclusive benefits and use data to ensure we have a culture that sustains gender equality.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Customer experience
The importance of service level management to customer experience
Staffing shortages have impacted site reliability engineers in particular since they are under extreme pressure to ensure that digital assets perform at optimum levels 24/7.
Story image
Deloitte expands cloud observability practice with Dynatrace
Deloitte is expanding its cloud observability practice, including DevOps principles, AI/ML, cloud complexity management and software engineering.
Story image
Contact Centre
Leveraging technology in contact centres to reduce attrition rates
Many organisations worldwide have accelerated DX to better respond to changing market drivers and business environments after the disruption of the pandemic.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Digital wallets
Australians lead the way in digital payment use - report
Australian consumers are at the forefront of mobile wallet use and adoption of digital banking tools, abandoning cash and physical payment experiences.
Story image
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Informatica, Oracle enter strategic global cloud partnership
Oracle named Informatica as a preferred partner for enterprise cloud data integration and data governance for data warehouse and lakehouse solutions on OCI. 
Story image
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Symbio consolidates TNZI business to support APAC expansion
Symbio has recently announced the consolidation of its international business (TNZI) under the Symbio brand to support its Asia Pacific expansion strategy.
Story image
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
NVIDIA announces a spate of new innovations at Computex 2022
NVIDIA has announced its latest innovations in data center, robotics, content creation, and gaming in a virtual keynote address on the opening day of Computex 2022 in Taipei.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
4/10 Australian SMEs fallen victim to cyber-attacks since pandemic
Almost four out of teb SMEs in Australia have fallen victim to cyber-attacks since the pandemic began, according to a new study.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Top data and tech challenges for APAC banks - report
InterSystems’ new report finds that 87% of A/NZ banks experience frustrations and concerns in using their data to drive decision-making.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.