Women Step Up Their (IT) Game

Women working in tech is a rarity rather than the norm. It speaks volumes to know that in IT’s mecca, only 1 in 6 Silicon Valley firms reported having more than one woman director last year.  Of course, it’s not just directors and the C-suite lacking gender diversity – this trend is glaringly apparent in engineering, where men make up the largest slice of the pie.

It’s not that technology is the domain of men, nor do women lack ambition. After all, research proves that women form two thirds of PC purchases, see technology as extensions of themselves, and are responsible for 70% of new businesses. So what gives?

Well, I’m not sure on that. But I do know Nitro is very different: in the last 3 years, we more than quadrupled the number of women working with us, and now 30% of Nitronauts are women. We even have at the helm inspiring leaders such as Chief Operating Officer, Gina O’Reilly, Vice President of Product, Mimi Hoang, and Financial Controller, Candice O’Meara dancing up a storm alongside us at Nitro Nauties (our quarterly Nitro women social hour), while kicking goals in the boardroom.

SWMW Bootcamp Snapshot

Check out the #WOMENSWMELB Bootcamp Facebook album.

And we continue to walk the talk. Over the weekend, Nitro hosted a bootcamp leading up to Startup Weekend Melbourne Women (SWMW) to help nurture ambitious women looking to jumpstart their business. Organised by Marina Paronetto from Melbourne Startup Weekend and Tammy Butow from #Shehacks, the event gives women an opportunity to breathe life into their startup by giving them the platform to learn, network and pitch.

To extend our support to women in tech, we donated enterprise-strength Nitro Pro and Nitro Cloud to each bootcamp participant, and provided live online training this morning to help them understand how to manage their document workflows securely and efficiently. We also offered a chance for a bootcamp participant to win a #PopUpOffice, where a hot desk, ping pong and wine at our Melbourne CBD office will be made available for the winner to use for a year.

But we aren’t the only one taking stock of women in technology. Industry stalwart Google came on board this year under their entrepreneurship program and supported the global Startup Weekend community, which SWMW is part of.

While the jury is still out on whether a woman would choose IT over a spa massage, it makes pure economic sense for technology players to do all they can to attract, nurture and retain half of the world’s potential capital to catapult growth across an increasingly diverse customer base.

With that, I raise a glass to Nitro for setting a fine example of how companies can support women in IT, and to Startup Weekend for championing women, and look forward to welcoming more of my sisters in arms into the industry.

Startup Weekend Melbourne Women starts on 16 May. To find out more about this great initiative, visit: http://melbournewomen.startupweekend.org/

Update: Congratulations to Michele McArdle – winner of the #PopUpOffice!