Bankwest, She Codes tackle tech’s gender challenge

20 July 2023

Bankwest has reinforced its commitment to ensuring strong career pathways for Western Australia’s current and aspiring tech professionals by renewing its partnership with She Codes for the next financial year.

She Codes is an organisation devoted to making digital career paths more accessible to women, through mentoring programs and workshops that aim to build the tangible, technical skills needed in the future of work.

The partnership follows the opening of the Bankwest and CBA Perth Tech Hub earlier in the year, generating 100 new employment opportunities in the state across data science, cybersecurity, and software engineering.

The Bankwest-She Codes partnership supports efforts to tackle the issue of gender diversity in tech head-on by redefining stereotypes and providing women with opportunities to expand their skills and career pathways.

Bankwest’s partnership will support She Codes in operating its important public workshops in Perth each quarter, with colleagues volunteering as mentors, sharing their experience and knowledge to help to upskill women in tech.

More than 30 Bankwest colleagues lent their experience as mentors in the first year of the partnership, while another 50 participated in She Codes workshops, joining more than 400 other students exploring tech careers.

She Codes 2022 Impact Report found that, since 2020, the technology workforce increased by eight per cent annually, outpacing the expansion of the labour market, with tech job postings increasing 66 per cent since 2019.

However, the report also highlighted the equality challenge within tech, with women underrepresented in technical and trade professions (21%) compared to management (34%), and administrative and logistical (46%) positions.

Bankwest Technology’s Gender Diversity Strategy aims to address the diversity challenge, with external partnerships and internal initiatives seeking to make tech more accessible and appealing to women.

However, while the strategy has helped Bankwest to improve on the industry average, the financial institution remained committed to narrowing the gender gap, with 38 per cent of tech team colleagues identifying as female.

The partnership with She Codes forms a key part of Bankwest Technology’s Gender Diversity Strategy, helping to deepen the talent pool by upskilling women, raising awareness of roles in tech, strengthening career pathways.

Bankwest Chief Information Officer Roger Williams said: “Bankwest has been part of the fabric of WA for more than 125 years and we remain committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work.

“Having a diversity of thought that accurately reflects our customers and communities is critical in Bankwest being able to deliver the best possible experience for those we support, which is why gender diversity is so important.

“Technology is only going to continue to become more ubiquitous and we need workers in that sector to reflect the end-users of that technology, and that means we need to make careers in tech more accessible for women.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made both within Bankwest and the community, and our colleagues recently took part in St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School’s i3 program, mentoring about 200 Year 10 students to nurture innovation.

“However, more can be done to deepen the talent pool and open the career pathways to women in tech, which is why Bankwest’s partnership with She Codes is so important, and I look forward to seeing its continuing impact.”

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