Need for more women in the technology industry

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A new pilot course hopes to encourage more women back into the heavily male-dominated technology industry.

The Ministry of Business and Employment and the Ministry for Women today launched the pilot in the hope of attracting more women back to the sector.

Based in Wellington, Return to IT assists women with a digital technology background to return to work in the sector after taking a career break of between two and five years.

Successful applicants will be offered an opportunity to be placed with a participating organisation, or assistance with seeking employment in the IT sector.

Kim Connolly-Stone, MBIE Policy Director, says the pilot will encourage women back into IT roles and promote more diversity.

“Women currently occupy less than a quarter of technically skilled professions in our digital technology sector. The sector contributed $16.2 billion to GDP in 2015, and is our third largest export sector.

“It’s critical that we address this imbalance, given the opportunities associated with this exciting and growing sector, including higher than average wages.

“However, we know it can be hard for women who have taken a career break to feel fully supported or confident about their return to work. They may end up accepting a lower-skilled job, or find it difficult to find a job that offers the flexibility they need.

Return to IT is about giving women IT professionals who are thinking about returning to work, or to the sector, the opportunity to meet employers that are looking for people just like them, and that have committed to making their transition back to work as smooth as possible,” she says.

Applications for the Return to IT pilot, which will run until mid-2018 will be handled by a new website launching soon.

In the interim, expressions of interest can be made on our website All expressions will be contacted once the website is launched.

Return to IT is a joint project between MBIE and the Ministry for Women, in partnership with the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, NZTech Women, and NZRise.

The Return to IT pilot is being supported by talent placement and consultancy company ICE Professionals.

Further information about the pilot, including the organisations involved, roles available and how to apply, is available at

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