Providing leadership in diversity and inclusion

The Digital Skills Report released in December 2017 has highlighted the diversity gap within the Digital Technology industry in a New Zealand context. Specifically of concern:

  • only 8% of students in Digital Technology studies are Maori
  • 36% of students in Digital Technology studies are women
  • 27% of the Digital Technology workforce are women

NZ sits among other nations grappling with a looming skills shortage – encouraging diversity of gender, sexuality, disability, race, age, ethnicity, religion and culture into our industry must be one key to gaining a competitive edge.

Even though the European Union (EU) has made tackling a shortage of ICT workers a political priority in the past, the latest 2017 forecast indicates that they expect to be short of 500,000 IT specialists by 2020 and will need a further 50,000 new high tech leaders each year until 2025. Digital Skills Report 2017

NZRise members are committed to taking a leadership position as employers and have developed a policy statement businesses are welcome to incorporate into their own organisational structure – Diversity and Inclusion Statement (copied below). We encourage other businesses to embrace inclusion within their organisational culture and policies enjoying the rewards diversity of thinking bring.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

NZRise members recognise that engaging people from a variety of backgrounds, views and experiences is critical to building the skills and talent New Zealand needs. Diversity benefits the Digital Technology sector, our community and the New Zealand economy as a whole, as such NZRise members are committed to promoting diversity, equality, respect and inclusion.

We encourage businesses small, medium and large to operate a policy whereby diversity, equality, respect and inclusion form a basis of their culture and are considered in all hiring, wage and salary, leadership and promotion decisions. The following can be leveraged by businesses in forming this policy statement.

As an employer we will:

  • promote and support initiatives to attract and retain women and other under-represented groups, including (but not limited to) Maori and Pasifika peoples, into digital technology studies and careers,
  • create and foster a sector that reflects a diverse range of individuals, experiences and views, and treats all people with respect, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, race, age, ethnicity, religion, culture or any other arbitrary feature,
  • pay and promote staff fairly and equitably based on performance, skill, knowledge, responsibility and effort.

Any questions please contact Victoria MacLennan, Co-Chair NZRise.

I must thank Paul Ramsay and the Digital Skills Forum members for their leadership in forming this position statement.

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