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March 08, 2016

Hiring for passion and skills over gender

By John Biviano, Senior Vice-President and General Manager for Australia at nearmap

The role of women in IT has been at the top of the media agenda in recent years. And with today marking International Women’s Day 2016, it’s a good opportunity to bring the topic back to the forefront.

Despite much chatter about the role of women in IT and the importance of diversity within organisations, especially in leadership roles, we’re still a long way from reaching an equilibrium. According to a report from Australian Computer Society and Deloitte last year, 28 per cent of ICT workers are female and while this might seem like a fair proportion, when compared to the average of 43 per cent in other professional industries, the disparity quickly becomes apparent. And unfortunately, the gap only appears to be widening. Research from the Department of Education found that there were more than three times the number of Australian female tertiary students studying IT in 2001 than in 2013.

Perhaps something that has held back this diversity is a misconception that women are not interested in pursuing a career in technology. But from my time working in tech, I would disagree. Here at nearmap we’re lucky enough to have many women within our organisation who play important roles in driving the company. Our Australian commercial management team is actually equally split. However, I truly believe our ability to attract the best people, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is foundational to our success.

While, like most companies I’m sure, there’s still room for us to continue to grow the diversity within the team, it is something we are focused on. Our vision has always been to hiring for talent and passion rather than anything else, and it’s something we’ll continue to focus on.

Today is an important reminder of the need to hire based on passion and skills. Otherwise, you truly run the risk of missing out on valuable staff.

The women behind nearmap's success The women behind nearmap's success

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