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Equality attracts top tech talent

Leading Australasian eCommerce provider eStar says businesses that practise diversity and equality have a huge competitive edge when it comes to employing top talent and maintaining a productive and engaged workforce.

As New Zealand’s fastest growing sector and third largest exporter, tech employs five percent of the workforce and has the highest paid employees than all other sectors on average.

The number of software developers employed in New Zealand doubled between 2006-2013 and growth is expected to continue to around 5.2 percent a year until 2020.

Based in Christchurch and Melbourne, eStar is one of New Zealand’s largest and growing IT companies employing more than 70 people. Its workforce has increased by a third in the last 18 months and represents 17 different cultural backgrounds.

eStar chief operations officer Kevin Rowland says the company focuses on having the right people in the right role and building a culture that is welcoming and inclusive.

“Four of our back-end developers are from India and we have a diverse workforce of women from Brazil, Hong Kong, Egypt, Philippines, Germany and Sri Lanka, as well as loads of Kiwis.

“Employing people from diverse backgrounds provides significant opportunities for us to leverage engagement, innovation, productivity and improve service to our clients,” Rowland says.

Women take up 23 percent of tech roles in New Zealand but at eStar, 41 percent of employees are women and this figure is expected to increase.

Three of the four senior tech leads at eStar are women, all of whom have been promoted from within the company. The client support and client delivery managers are female and eStar has women in a range of roles including developers, web designers, scrum masters, project managers, product owners, solutions consultants and client support, among others.

Rowland says eStar’s employee remuneration is based on skills and value and they treat everyone equally.

“Remuneration has nothing to do with gender or culture. It makes no difference whether people are male or female, it’s all about recruiting the right person for the job who has the right skills and experience.

“In the last two years at eStar we have placed a big focus on how we all work together and this has resulted in remarkable employee engagement results. Having a more engaged team has had a direct impact on employee turnover, so that our retention for the current year is 87.85 percent, well above industry average.

“Having engaged and satisfied people in the tech business is so important as we are all competing for the top talent.”

eStar is actively involved with various projects to encourage more young Kiwis into tech careers such as Shadow Tech Day, ITP TechHub and Futureintech.

Equality attracts top talent

Photo above: Nancy Watta (Developer), Rebecca Rowley (Senior Technical Lead), Nadia Derham (Account Manager & Product Owner), Kevin Rowland (Chief Operations Officer),  Grace Kung (Developer), Meiry Ane Gomes (Developer & Scrum Master), Jeanette Braid (Designer)

 

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