Empowering Women in Tech: MYOB’s DevelopHer Programme Receives the 2022 NZAGE Best Innovation Award.

Innovation is a key driver for organisations to stay competitive and adapt to changing market dynamics. MYOB, a leading provider of business management solutions in Australia and New Zealand, understands the importance of innovation and its impact on business success. MYOB’s groundbreaking DevelopHer programme, aimed at addressing the gender gap in the technology industry, received accolades by winning the 2022 Innovation category at the New Zealand Associate of Graduate Employers (NZAGE) awards.

In a recent online forum, MYOB’s emerging talent lead, Kristina Nutt, and emerging talent programme consultant, Anna Dyer, presented to NZAGE members about the goals, achievements, and the successful 2022 launch of DevelopHer in New Zealand.

Recognising the underrepresentation of women in the technology sector, MYOB launched the DevelopHer programme in Australia in 2016. With just 39% of technology participants in New Zealand being female and women accounting for only 27% of digital technology roles, there was a compelling need to close the gender gap in New Zealand and encourage more women to pursue careers in technology.

DevelopHer was designed as a “returnship” program, providing women who had been out of the job market or seeking a mid-career shift with the opportunity to receive coding training. MYOB aimed to address the lack of female IT graduates and professionals at all levels by attracting more women to the software development field.

The DevelopHer Journey:

The DevelopHer programme offers participants a unique pathway to a career in software development. Participants are treated as full-time employees from the start, receiving a salary and approximately six months of full-time study at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Those not based in Melbourne have the option to participate through online channels and have the support of the employees at the Auckland MYOB offices. To ensure a supportive learning environment, each participant is assigned a mentor and a learning buddy who provides guidance throughout the programme.

MYOB worked closely with RMIT to design the six-month programme to align with the in-demand skills required by the technology industry, as well as what they were specifically looking for in a software developer at MYOB.

DevelopHer participants commence their study in July through to January. On completion of the course, participants receive a Graduate Certificate in Application Development or credits toward a Computer Science Degree from RMIT.

They then continue their full-time employment at MYOB, joining the February protégé graduate cohort in the Future Makers Academy. MYOB then matches their salary to align with the rest of their cohort. Participants then move on to guaranteed associate developer roles within MYOB, following their self-paced acceleration learning journey in the Future Makers Academy.

Statistics and Success Stories:

The DevelopHer programme has had a remarkable impact on participants. Out of the 24 women who completed the programme, 75% remain employed at MYOB, and 100% remain in roles within the technology industry. Of these participants, 73% actively switched their careers to technology, and 23% were mothers returning to the workforce. Additionally, MYOB facilitated 4% internal hire, showcasing the programme’s ability to support career growth and change.

Inclusivity, diversity, and legal requirements:

The DevelopHer programme aimed to break biases in technology development by welcoming women from all backgrounds, regardless of age, experience‌ or skillset. MYOB encouraged applicants to join the programme at any stage of life. Past DevelopHer’s have ranged from mothers returning to work, primary school teachers‌ and women in the healthcare.

Advertising a position specifically for women in Australia and New Zealand involves navigating various legal considerations surrounding gender-specific job advertisements. MYOB were committed to ensuring that they followed all the necessary procedures and met the required standards. All advertisements carry a disclaimer stating that MYOB has taken utmost care to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination legislation. The DevelopHer programme qualifies as a special measure under Section 12 of the Equal Opportunity Act in 2010 (Vic) and Section 73 of the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993.

MYOB’s DevelopHer programme has made a significant impact in addressing the gender diversity challenge in the technology industry. MYOB remains committed to the future expansion of DevelopHer across Australia and New Zealand.

Congratulations MYOB for the success of your DevelopHer programme and the 2022 NZAGE Innovation Award.

This recognition is a testament to MYOB’s dedication to fostering a culture of innovation, empowering individuals‌ and driving positive change in the business landscape through their DevelopHer programme. Their dedication to bridging the gender gap in the technology sector will make a significant and lasting impact on the broader business community.

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