Keynotes and Speakers for ITx 2018
Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Catherine is an Academic Specialist for Business and Enterprise in the Learning Design and Development Directorate at the Open Polytechnic of NZ. Catherine was awarded a Doctor of Science Education in 2013 from Curtin University, Australia. She also holds a Master of Business Studies, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Administration, a Bachelor of Business Studies and a Diploma in Tertiary Teaching.
Catherine's research interests span the two disciplines of information technology and business within the tertiary education environment. Research outputs include the effects of mobile technologies on learning environments, gender issues in ICT, ethics and social responsibility, professional practice, soft skills requirements, and ways to engage academia with industry.
Diversity creates a more productive, creative and dynamic society, with the Information Technology (IT) industry being one that offers opportunities for innovative, challenging, collaborative, and creative careers.
While the diversity issue is not just confined to gender, the low representation of women in the IT industry is at the forefront of many diversity discussions. Statistics show that women only represent approximately 22 per cent of the tech workforce, with the literature suggesting several reasons for the under-representation of women in IT.
While there are many strategies and initiatives that try to address diversity issues in the IT sector, there has been little change in participation levels. This paper reviews the literature surrounding diversity issues and the gender imbalance in IT sector, and discusses approaches currently in place to encourage girls and women to consider a tech career as well as retaining them in IT education and IT roles.