Transpire is extremely proud of the diverse group of women who represent all areas of the business, from user experience to development and delivery.

However, a lot of still needs to be done to bridge the gender gap, as women make up just 16 per cent of Australia’s STEM workforce.

Despite the fact we’re steadily moving towards a 50:50 gender ratio, it could take more than 200 years before there are equal numbers of men and women working in senior roles according to a study led by Luke Holman, Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

Research suggests that having a gender balance in the workplace can improve problem solving, attract high performers, increase staff retention, and reduce overheads. As a result, closing the gender gap is not only the ethical thing to do, it could also help businesses become more productive and profitable.

So, how do we go about it?

“The more events that inspire girls to get into tech, the better,” Alice Hanna, Head of People and Culture, Transpire. 

Sponsoring events like Go Girl, Go for IT

Every two years, the Victorian ICT for Women network runs Go Girl, Go for IT, an event that showcases the amazing range of vocational avenues available in IT to Victorian school girls in years five to 12.

This year, Transpire was in attendance as an event sponsor, speaking to young women about the work we do and how we do it, as well as why women are indispensable to our culture and capabilities.

“The more events that inspire girls to get into tech, the better,” Transpire Head of People and Culture, Alice Hanna said. “Awareness is the first step, peaking their interest and igniting their passion is the next.

“Diversity on all fronts is key to a company’s success, so having females at all levels of organisations can only help them succeed.”

Alongside a mixture of interactive presentations and workshops, Go Girl, Go for IT also featured a careers tradeshow, where leading employers provided advice and insights into their businesses.

“I feel very privileged to be part of events like Go Girl, Go for IT,” said Alice. “It’s an honour to have direct access to young, curious girls and help them understand not only their career options, but how they can change the world.

“I asked all the girls at our booth why they like tech, and so many responded ‘because you can do so many things to really help people and change the world’. If I can inspire just one girl who goes on to help one other person… job done.”

Championing tech careers for future generations

Although Luke Holman’s research suggests that we won’t reach gender parity in disciplines like computer science for 280 years, the enthusiasm shown by those in attendance at Go Girl, Go for IT gave our team plenty of optimism for the future.

“One of the girls said she loved coding and would make games in her spare time at home; she would have been 10…if that,” Transpire People and Culture Coordinator Shannon Devlin said. “If a 10-year-old girl can already build games, imagine what she could do in 10-20 years time.”

Transpire iOS Developer Dayn Goodbrand, who used the app Swift Playgrounds to showcase how easy and interactive it is to code, was also taken aback by the girls’ level of enthusiasm and knowledge about technology. 

L-R: Transpire Senior User Experience Designer Kira Eviston and Head of People and Culture Alice Hanna.

“The girls that had exposure to IT (and more specifically programming) were far more interested and willing to have a go than those who hadn’t,” he said. “This is really important, as girls typically don’t have as many opportunities to pique their interest in other ways.

“When I decided to become a programmer, it wasn’t particularly ‘easy’ to get started – finding the right place to start or even someone to speak to about it. But I would go so far as to say the majority of girls at Go Girl, Go for IT had done some programming previously, which was really amazing, as my exposure at their age was dragging some images onto a website.”

Even so, IT remains a male-dominated industry, which can be intimidating for some women. For this reason, Transpire will continue to promote the benefits of a diverse workforce and throw its support behind events like Go Girl, Go for IT.

“I love the fact events like Go Girl, Go for IT break down stereotypes and provide all sorts of opportunities for young girls who might have otherwise been discouraged from following their passions in life,” Shannon said.

Alice added: “My biggest takeaway was how smart, curious, passionate and bold the next generation of girls are. I can’t wait to see them grow up into strong, successful women – whether they choose a career in IT or not.”