The world has changed an incredible amount in the last couple of decades and every day new technology seems to be popping up. The future is undoubtedly digital, and so are the workers of the future. Unfortunately, access to the tools which enable young people to get a headstart in this area are not universally accessible. Even here in comparatively-developed Aotearoa, there are hundreds of families whose only computer is the one at the library in town, a 20-minute bus ride away. We also still see a disproportionately low percentage of women entering STEM fields, and the stats get worse when you start taking ethnicity into account.
As a kiwi digital tech company, OptimalBI wants to see a broadening of the future talent pool to include those who may otherwise have been left behind. It’s just good business. A more diverse workforce delivers a better user experience and can help companies to cover the needs of a bigger audience. On top of that, it means there are more qualified people for us to choose from when we hire. It’s a win for everyone.
So, how are we addressing this gap?
We take a proactive approach to increasing the number of kids with access to tech because we know it’s what is good for everyone. We do this by partnering with some amazing organisations already doing incredible work across the country. We contribute to each of them differently depending on their needs, from resources, mentors, and time, through to office space and meeting rooms, and of course financial sponsorship. Some of our staff also give extra time outside of work as well, and they can take their paid volunteer day off to do this as well.
Here are a couple of the organisations we love (there are many more too!) –
Every time I read about the awesome competitions, projects, workshops, and programmes that organisations like these are running it makes me truly happy. The opportunities they give young people are absolutely fantastic, and so needed in our communities. If you are interested in learning more about what they do, click on the logos to go to their websites and get involved.
Organisations all across Aotearoa have something to gain from supporting kids in learning to love digital technology. Join us in supporting them.