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Record-number of Kiwi women embark on NZ tech careers

Record-number of Kiwi women embark on NZ tech careers

A record number of women are about to take up internships in high tech companies, an area where male students have dominated in the past.

A new record for female tertiary students being placed in paid internships with high tech companies in Wellington and Auckland has been set in this year’s Summer of Tech’s student internship programme.

According to the local internship programme, 33 women are about to take up internships in high tech companies, an area where male students have dominated in the past.

With a record 106 students placed this year, this equates to one third of the roles going to female students.

“This is especially of note as the industry level is around 20%, so Summer of Tech will now be helping to change that and get more young women into these roles and starting their IT careers,” says John Clegg, Summer of Tech.

Clegg says that a 40% national increase in numbers of students winning internships has also made it the best year yet for the programme.

Established in 2006 to connect students with local technology companies, Clegg says companies are using the programme as a strategic partner in the hiring of graduates.

The success can also be attributed to the inclusion of high value manufacturing into the Wellington-based programme and launch of a pilot in Auckland this year.

“We’ve been very ambitious by taking the programme into Auckland and also extending it to manufacturers wanting to incorporate technology into their products in the same year,” he adds.

“Both things have been successful so this has really paid off.”

Read more: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley: 'Next Steve Jobs may well be a woman'

Clegg says Trade Me and Xero have taken more than ten students, with the Department of Internal Affairs, Solnet, Powershop and other private companies having contracts with four or more students. It’s good news on the career front for students too, with the programme in the past having a run-on employment success rate of 66%.

During the year several events have been held, including pitches by high tech employers to students, speed interviews, hackfests and 50 bootcamps attended by 500 students to help prepare them for work in industry.

The Summer of Tech non-profit programme is supported by Grow Wellington, Wellington City Council and technology companies and has created over 400 ICT jobs in Wellington since its inception.

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