We’ve talked at length about the power in creating strong talent pipelines to promote workplace equity. We’re proud to announce that two local organisations, both fronted by Global Women members, are joining forces to make this a reality.
Microsoft New Zealand is officially partnering with TupuToa to create more diversity in the country’s cybersecurity sector.
The goal? To get more Māori and Pasifika youth involved in cybersecurity from the ground up, through co-designing a cyber security programme to build new career paths.
This comes as part of Microsoft’s global initiative to close the cybersecurity skills gap in 23 countries — Aotearoa included. The programme is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to become security professionals.
“We’ll be able to offer even more tauira pathways into technology careers and help make Aotearoa a safer place for all New Zealanders” — Anne Fitisemanu, CEO, TupuToa.
“We’re really excited to be the chosen partner with Microsoft on this mahi,” says Anne Fitisemanu, Global Women Member and CEO of TupuToa — a social enterprise focussed on growing Māori and Pacific leaders — in an article with HCA Magazine. “With this new programme, we’ll be able to offer even more tauira pathways into technology careers and help make Aotearoa a safer place for all New Zealanders at the same time.”
“We have a proven track record of providing training and experience to more than 1000 Māori and Pacific Island peoples, and helping them take up and thrive in full time roles in technology,” Anne shares.
We caught up with Microsoft’s Managing Director and fellow Global Women Member, Vanessa Sorensen, on what this partnership means for Microsoft. A strong sense of connectivity and creativity marks this exciting partnership and next chapter.
What excites you most about this partnership with TupuToa?
“One of the key things I learned is this: to really make change you need to collaborate with people and organisations that already have a great voice and relationship with the communities that you want to talk to. That’s why I love our partnership with TupuToa. Microsoft has an ongoing partnership with TupuToa, which sees us employ Māori and Pacific Island interns each year, many of whom go on to enjoy successful careers at Microsoft.
Building on this, in 2021 we made a grant and allocated support to TupuToa for the co-design of a skilling programme, Hikohiko te Uira, that will see thousands of Māori and Pasifika people receive free digital skills and training in a setting that is reflective of and respectful to their cultures. In fact, recently we have agreed another grant to TupuToa in order to focus on delivering cyber skilling training to Māori and Pasifika.
This is so good, and it will literally change people’s lives and add to our industry. We all rise on the same tide, so I’m thrilled that we are always empowering our partners and deepening our relationships with organisations like TupuToa who are doing so much good for New Zealand.”
“To really make change you need to collaborate with people and organisations that already have a great voice and relationship with the communities that you want to talk to” — Vanessa Sorensen, Managing Director Microsoft New Zealand.
What are your hopes for the inclusion of minority communities in STEM industries?
“New voices, fresh points of view, new products. That is ultimately the goal of expanding our welcome mat to more communities.
The fuel of innovation is fresh perspectives and that is what new people from minority communities will bring to the industry, and beyond. It’s strange to me that an industry that literally destroys the tyranny of distance, that dissolves borders, and brings nations closer together, is still an industry with so few diverse nations actually working for it. And as leaders and managers it is our responsibility to make more opportunities available to more people from more places.”
Read the full story over on HRDMag.com