Breaking Down Gender Barriers In The Tech Sector

Thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government, Victoria’s most talented women coders and designers will be applying their skills to tackle some of the public sector’s most pressing challenges.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today announced funding of $450,000 for Code for Australia to place teams of women from their Innovation Fellowship program into Government Departments as part of the Code for Victoria II – Women in Tech Program.

Under the partnership, talented women designers, programmers and user-experience experts will work in government for six months to showcase their skills while helping find new ways to improve government services.

This is also about helping to break down barriers in the tech sector by boosting female participation. Currently just 20 per cent of tech workers are women compared to 46 per cent amongst the broader Victorian workforce.

The initiative builds on the success of the first round of the program that delivered new tools and technologies to Victoria Legal Aid, Parks Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The program has helped connect vulnerable Victorians to legal support, improve the collection and availability of biodiversity data to scientists and citizen-scientists, and organise government construction contract data.

Funded under the $11 million Public Sector Fund, the Code for Victoria program is designed to drive new and more effective solutions to policy and service delivery challenges.

Innovation Fund grants have been recently awarded to Infoxchange to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ access to health and wellbeing services and to The Youth Junction to help divert young people from criminal activity in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Applications for the Public Sector Innovation Fund are now open. More information is available at www.publicsectorinnovation.vic.gov.au

Prospective fellows and government departments and agencies can apply to the Code for Victoria II Program at www.codeforvictoria.org.

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“Victoria produces more IT graduates than anywhere else in Australia. However to remain number one, we need to ensure more women get into this growing sector and with this program we are doing just that.”

“The Code for Victoria II – Women in Tech Program will ensure the brightest and best women coders and technologists get their chance to work alongside our public servants to improve government services.”

Quotes attributable to Code for Australia Managing Director Alvaro Maz

“In the last eight months we’ve seen what our remarkable community of public servants and talented technologists is capable of.”

“We now want to raise the bar to ensure a greater diversity of people become involved in civic life to solve critical public issues.”