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Pacific Women In Tech II

An inspiring event was held on Thursday 26 November 2020 at Manukau encouraging Pasifika communities with a focus on women and young people to consider a career in tech.

Managing Director, Microsoft NZ – Vanessa Sorenson shared her journey of belief and wanting more for herself than the challenging circumstances of her childhood. The tech sector is growing with many opportunities because technology is needed in everything we do and with a starting salary of $50k the pay can be rewarding. Some tips of success Vanessa shared included writing down your goals, finding a mentor who believes in you and surround yourself with radiators not drainers. With less than 2% of Maori and Pasifika in the tech industry Vanessa welcomes diversity and is offering internships at Microsoft.

International Digital Strategist Julia Arnott-Neenee spoke about the jobs she applied for overseas and was offered because she had belief in herself to cast her net wide.

Talanoa Panel moderator Shalleen Hern asked the panelists how they started in the tech sector and what were some of the challenges. The event was livestreamed on failoa famili facebook page with viewers joining in from New Zealand and overseas asking questions for the panel. One mum asked online how her talented son, a gamer can gain more confidence to get a job in tech. Panelist Tautiaga Tiatia shared that e -sport is becoming bigger than sports. The impact of Covid-19 has increased its popularity.

Diana Sharma from Mission Ready HQ talked about scholarships for Maori and Pasifika in 2021 as a fast track into the tech sector.

The following day a young attendee was inspired and linkedin with Vanessa Sorenson.

For Failoa Famili this is what hope and motivation is all about. Executive Director Naomi Saluni Tavau says “We want our young people to know the different pathways for jobs in tech - jobs that are not just technical but includes people skills, sales and social media – as tonight has shown anything is possible”.

And how timely to finish off the evening with “This is the moment” sung by international opera tenor Benjamin Fifita Makisi. Thank you to all who attended, keynote speakers, panelists and volunteers. Thank you Hans Key and Puataunofo Come Home Safely for the bag of giveaways. Thank you to IKnowIT company for livestreaming PWITII. Fa’afetai, Malo ‘aupito.

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