Over 400 girls had the chance to experience what a tech career could be like by participating in ShadowTech 2019.

The five ShadowTech days were held in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin in June.

The year 9 – 11 students were exposed to a range of tech careers, shadowing staff at organisations such as Spark, University of Otago, Deloitte, Jade, and Xero.

Many of the students were surprised to learn that tech careers involve more than just coding.

Feedback from students:

• “I expected people in this field to code and do all stuff in computer but they don’t. There are lots of opportunities in this field and women are really needed. It is really flexible and there are lots of different things to do. Technology is fast paced and our creativity and empathy are needed to be shown more in this field.”

• “I really loved being able to learn about a future career that I didn’t even know existed. It has shown me there is a lot more out there than you think. ShadowTech was an amazing experience and I would recommend anyone to just give it a go.”

• “My experience was totally different from what I do with technology every day. I learned something new about the tech industry and how it actually works.”

• “I found that IT isn’t all about maths, coding and boring nerdy things. You can join even if you don’t have a degree.”

For the 93 mentors who hosted the girls, the day gave them a chance to share their career experience in the tech sector and help show the girls the types of careers on offer.

Feedback from mentors:

• “We learnt about ourselves as well as learning from the girls. We don’t often get together as a group of women at work and talk about how we got here.”

• “It was fun to hear the type of projects the students were doing at school and it was cool to see them realise the different skills that might be transferable.”

• “We all felt more motivated about our roles after speaking to the students, we’re hoping this is just the beginning for more students to start thinking about a tech career earlier!”

• “A lot of energy is put into a day like this, from our team and the students. It comes back 10-fold. Events like this really resonate in our company values and contribute to our culture within our business. We were energised by seeing their reaction to the possibility of careers in tech.”

70% of students said they were interested or really interested in a career in technology after attending ShadowTech 2019.