Friday, 08 March 2019 11:21

Govt sets up new network to support women in tech

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Michael Keenan: "The initiative also fits with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which is ‘Balance for Better’." Michael Keenan: "The initiative also fits with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which is ‘Balance for Better’." Courtesy YouTube

The Federal Government has announced a joint venture with industry known as Connecting Women in Digital Initiative to coach, mentor and offer networking opportunities for women working in the ICT sector.

The initiative will also aim to "actively encourage" younger women to work in the technology industry. The announcement was made on Friday, International Women's Day.

Regular engagement opportunities and events will be organised, featuring key leaders from across government and industry.

Human Services and Digital Transformation Minister Michael Keenan said in a statement that while ICT was an industry sector that was growing fast, women made up only 28% of the workforce.

“This is a very concerning statistic, especially given that just 20% of students currently enrolled in technology courses at Australian universities are female,” he said.

“The Coalition Government is determined to see this situation improve, which is why the Digital Transformation Agency has partnered with industry leaders to get the Connecting Women in Digital Initiative off the ground.

“This initiative will give women working in digital roles within the Australian Public Service and the private sector a forum where they can come together to share their experiences and knowledge and make new connections that will assist them in their career development.

“The initiative also fits with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which is ‘Balance for Better’. By creating a more supportive and female-friendly work environment, it will help us to improve the balance of women in ICT positions.”

Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Gartner, Oracle, Amazon Web Services, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Women in Information and Communication organisation have pledged support for the initiative.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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