Xero has always been active in mentoring and encouraging young people to enter the software industry. We have extensive support for junior talent through our graduate and summer of tech program. We also work closely with communities such as She# and Shadow Tech to support their vision of addressing the gender diversity problem that the entire industry faces. We continuously challenge ourselves with the question of how can we do better?
Having previously been a university student, I can understand how applying for a job is scary. I missed a lot of opportunities simply because I felt that I didn’t have the arsenal of skills that companies seemed to be looking for.
The reality is that without experiencing it all firsthand, it’s very difficult to imagine what it’s like to be a developer at a tech company. Not only do we have to acknowledge the existence of a large gap between the technical skills that we learn at university and what we will be expected to do in the “real world”, but also that there are so many other factors involved in starting your career that are uncertain and unfamiliar. This makes it harder to gather the confidence to take that step forward when applying for jobs.
There are endless different angles we can undertake to start tackling the diversity problem in the tech industry. Some of which include encouraging more females to enter STEM pathways, addressing unconscious work biases, and improving the support offered by work environments. However, as a group of young female developers, we felt like we could provide the most value by targeting the “pipeline issue”.
From this perspective, I can see that many women may not be applying for these technical roles early in their career because of this fear. We are losing great talent before they have even entered the workforce!
Therefore we are working to improve the level of representation from women in the applications that we receive by encouraging them to reach out and apply for our roles, and showing them how our friendly work environment is eager to support them in learning the skills that they need.
This is what led us to create Women in Tech. Look for Part 2 next week where I’ll delve into what our workshops are and how you can be a part of it as well.