Growing Presence: The State of Women in Tech in New Zealand in 2023

Post by: Abbey Baldacchino
Published: 4 July 2023

A Snapshot of Gender Diversity in NZ:

– 27% of all employees in the Tech Industry are Women

– Less than 1 in 20 girls considers a high-paid career in STEM, compared to 1 in 5 boys.



The Historical Context of Women in Tech in New Zealand

In the early days of New Zealand’s tech industry, women were already making waves. Imagine a time when computers were the size of a room and only the most daring individuals ventured into the digital realm. And guess what? Women were there, fearlessly defying the status quo.

These early pioneers challenged societal expectations and proved that coding and innovation were not just the realm of men. They pushed boundaries and shattered glass ceilings, inspiring countless others to follow their lead.

Early Pioneers: Women in New Zealand’s Tech History

Let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the incredible women who laid the foundation for the tech industry we know today. One standout figure is Ada Lovelace, a visionary mathematician who wrote the world’s first-ever computer program in the 19th century.

Ada Lovelace’s groundbreaking work paved the way for future generations of women in tech. Her visionary thinking and mathematical prowess set the stage for the incredible advancements we see today. Without her contributions, the tech landscape in New Zealand would look vastly different.

Fast forward to the 20th century, and we encounter the remarkable Jean Bartlett, who designed New Zealand’s first locally built computer, the D1. Talk about leading the charge!

Jean Bartlett’s innovative spirit and technical expertise played a crucial role in shaping the early tech industry in New Zealand. Her determination to create a locally built computer showcased the immense talent and potential that women possessed in this field.

The Evolution of Women’s Role in Tech

From secretaries turned programmers to groundbreaking engineers, it is these important trailblazers who demonstrated that women have the brains, skills, and determination to excel in this field.

These women paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse tech industry in New Zealand. Their contributions challenged the notion that technology was a male-dominated field, opening doors for women to pursue their passions and make significant contributions to the industry.

Today, women hold influential positions in tech companies, contribute to groundbreaking innovations, and inspire the generations that will take the baton and continue this legacy.

The journey of women in tech in New Zealand is a testament to their resilience, determination, and belief in their abilities. 

The Current Landscape of Women in New Zealand’s Tech Industry

Representation of Women in Tech: Statistics and Trends

Numbers don’t lie, and when it comes to representation, we have work to do. While women have made significant strides in the industry, there is still a visible gender gap. However, with continued focus on diversity and inclusion, the winds of change are blowing.

Organisations are realising the power of diverse perspectives and the need to cultivate a workforce that reflects the world we live in. It’s time to break those barriers and let talent take centre stage, regardless of gender.

Challenges Faced by Women in the Tech Industry

No journey is complete without acknowledging the hurdles along the way. Let’s shine a light on the gender biases and stereotypes that women encounter in the tech world.

Gender Bias and Stereotypes in Tech

Unfortunately, biases and stereotypes persist in the tech industry. These limiting beliefs hinder progress and prevent the full potential of individuals from being fully realised. Many forward-thinking companies however, are confronting these challenges head-on, promoting equality, and fostering a supportive environment for all.

The Wage Gap: A Closer Look

Women in the tech industry often face discrepancies in pay compared to their male counterparts. However, there’s hope on the horizon.

Governments, organisations, and individuals are taking steps towards ensuring fair compensation for all.

Initiatives Promoting Gender Equality in Tech

Government Policies and Programs

The government has recognised the need for change and is implementing policies and programs to level the playing field. Through collaborations with industry leaders, these initiatives are making significant strides in creating a more inclusive tech landscape.

Private Sector Initiatives

The private sector is stepping up, too. Numerous organisations are actively working to foster diversity and inclusion within their teams, encouraging women to thrive and break barriers. The most notable is Tech Women a NZ company focused on supporting women in this male dominated industry. Women in Tech NZ and She Sharp are also share this mission.

The Future of Women in New Zealand’s Tech Industry

Predicted Trends and Developments

As the tech industry continues to evolve, we anticipate a drastic increase in gender diversity. With new voices, fresh perspectives, and inclusive practices, the possibilities are limitless, however there is still a huge amount of work to do.

How New Zealand Can Lead the Way in Gender Equality in Tech

New Zealand has always been a trailblazer, and the tech industry is no exception. Let’s seize this opportunity to be a shining example to the world. By championing gender equality, New Zealand can set the stage for a tech industry where talent flourishes, and innovation knows no bounds.



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