Is NZ hi-tech industry starting to address gender imbalance?

Qual IT, New Zealand’s largest independent information technology (IT) Quality & Testing provider, today announced the appointment of Angela Nash as CEO, to consolidate on average annual revenue growth of 40% since 2011.

Nash says that while her primary focus was helping Qual IT to continue scaling its business, she also hoped her appointment would have a spin-off effect in highlighting the increasing number of women entering the IT workforce.

“Young women are starting to understand the breadth and depth of opportunities available in the IT sector,” says Nash, a veteran of IT management roles with Telecom, Datacom, IBM and Zeacom, in addition to contract stints with Vero and Provenco.

“Gender roles in professions like law and accounting are much more balanced because women have traditionally seen these occupations as attractive.

“Young woman evaluating their career options are now starting to see that IT offers a rich and diverse range of roles with considerable flexibility, not simply writing code and other deeply technical jobs.

“My experience in the IT sector is that good performers can make rapid advances regardless of gender, and the lack of woman in leadership positions is only a reflection of the low numbers of woman in the sector overall.

“I have a technical education background but have largely worked in the application of technology to business, not the building of technology itself.

“I’m not a classic ‘geek’, what I get excited about is the results delivered for a business from IT.”

This is exactly where Qual IT comes in, says Nash, saying an end-to-end quality and testing focus helps organisations deliver new IT systems faster and with less risk.

Nash says her main brief in taking over from Shane Hewson, who along with co-founder Jon McPhee remains active in the business, was to ensure
the business could continue to grow sustainably.

“The challenge now is to continue our growth while continuing to evolve the underlying systems and processes that enduring large businesses have,” she adds.

Hewson said they were delighted to secure Nash as Qual IT’s CEO.

“Ange’s background is with organisations noted for their operational excellence, and she has brought that discipline to managing our Auckland division and now is applying it across the whole business,” he says.

“It is an important part of Qual IT maturing as a business.”

Nash says the future was exciting for Qual IT, given the evolution of the quality and testing discipline.

“It has changed so much over the last few years, becoming a far more strategic part of any large business.

“Quality assurance has become an essential part of being able to develop and deliver systems fast enough to respond to changing business conditions, while maintaining an acceptable level of risk.”

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