As somebody who is passionate about addressing the low level of women in the software development profession, Sullivan hopes a new MYOB program will help kick-start this movement.
The DevelopHER initiative is a 10-week paid internship which aims to teach women the fundamental skills to become sought-after junior software developers.
The program is open to women at any career or life stage, whether they are returning to the workforce, seeking a new challenge or transitioning from non-software development roles.
Sullivan told L&D Professional
that the program came about because of the low numbers of women in the IT market, especially in the development space.
One of the problems is that the industry is generally hiring people with the most current and up to date skill sets – something which needs to be updated frequently, Sullivan said.
Therefore, many women who leave the industry for a short period of time to have children are disadvantaged because they do not possess the latest skills.
“The women who left at the age of 30 for two or three years are coming back in, and their skills are two or three years behind what the latest technology is,” he said.
Sullivan added that Australia will be a better country if we have more diversity in the team structures because that will bring different opinions and more life experiences to the table.
He added that the products that are created will also be better because more diversity means more creativity.
“When a product is built it will resemble the culture and attributes of the team that built it. If it is a male-dominated team than you end up with attributes that suit the male purchasing market,” he said.
“So I think we will actually build better products that suit the buying market.”
Another issue is that there are not enough females in leading IT roles who are able to be role models, said Sullivan.
“I think the sooner that we can get high numbers of really aspirational female leaders in the IT industry, the sooner it will have a snowball effect of getting greater levels of diversity,” he said.
MYOB were also a HRD
Employer of Choice 2016 (500+ employees).
To register your interest and hear more about the program, email your contact details to DevelopHER@myob.com.
Picture: John Sullivan
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John Sullivan is the father of daughters and the Product Development Manager at the accounting software provider MYOB.