Two percent of the tech work industry represent as Māori or Pasifika in NZ. This not only shines a light on underrepresented cultures in the industry but gives the tech world a wakeup call to their hiring decisions in the future. There is an abundance of talent at home, and this is the time to invest in our people.
The technology industry tends to be an exclusive club and often its members don't reflect the world we live in, particularly in NZ. Over the past two years, NZ has had to look inward to fill in the hole that has appeared in the tech industry not only because the international work force has been limited to coming into and working in NZ, but because of the ongoing lack of diversity in the industry. The impact of Covid has allowed this industry to recognize hiring patterns and understand that diversity and inclusion in the workplace starts in our own backyard.
Two percent of the tech work industry represents as Māori or Pasifika in NZ. This not only shines a light on underrepresented cultures in the industry but gives the tech world a wake-up call to their hiring decisions in the future. There is an abundance of talent at home, and this is the time to invest in our people.
Diversity has been the conversation in the industry in recent years; however, this needs to shift towards inclusion as well. There needs to be a boost in Māori and Pacifika hiring, especially the hiring of wahine into the highly demanding, fast growing field of cloud technology.
Mission Ready (a training program for the tech industry) director Diana Sharma, says “The fact that technology has taken over our lives from the way we shop, to the way we communicate, only makes it more important for greater Māori and Pasifika input and insight into what is a very strategic and pan-culture sector.” Programs like this are just one of the resources that Māori and Pasifika can pursue but it certainly needs more of a light to shine on it.
Recipient of the 2020 scholarship from Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative, Utah Mann who is from Ngāti Awa, Tongan and Samoan descent, has amplified what Māori and Pasikifa can bring to the tech industry. “Coming from a culture that puts love, family, community central, if we can bring that into the tech sector, we can potentially be the heartbeat of New Zealand’s tech and potentially, globally, the soul of tech.”
For the tech industry it's got to be bigger than incorporating Te Reo Māori into content. There needs to be a repositioning towards the Māori and Pasifika perspective – a concept, a way of being in the world, to bring Te Ao Mārama to our everyday lives.