News & Analysis

MYOB launches DevelopHER paid internship program to promote diversity in tech

- June 28, 2016 2 MIN READ

As one of Australia’s leading fintech companies, MYOB has somewhat of a duty to make sure that it promotes a culture of diversity within the local tech ecosystem, especially when it comes to talent. Part of this process means making sure they are at the forefront of the women in tech movement.

“We believe that businesses need to be proactive in identifying non-traditional talent and invest in developing the skills that are in high demand,” said PR Manager at MYOB, Saba Chowdhury.

“Through our partnership with VIC Women in IT Network and involvement in other industry panels, think tanks, and education events, we invest in programs and initiatives we believe will have maximum impact on our industry, and our business.”

To help drive this mission, MYOB has launched its new DevelopHER initiative, a 360-hour paid internship program that will help three women become software developers.

The program is the idea of MYOB’s Product Development Manager, John Sullivan, a team member that also happens to be passionate about increasing diversity across the Australian tech ecosystem.

Recruiting for open software engineering roles is a year-round activity for MYOB, however the number of women applying for the roles is minimal. If successful, the DevelopHER program should have a significant impact on the company being able to create and maintain a gender-diverse EX team to deliver solutions that suit its diverse user demographic.

There are a few key reasons that the initiative makes business sense for the company, with the most obvious being that the talent profile being sought after in the application process reflects the cultural dimensions of the people that use the MYOB suite of products. In fact, it is a key initiative at MYOB that the company draws from both the male and female conception of design and UX; as Chowdhury told Startup Daily, a product with just a male approach to UX and design ignores half the buying market.

The initial run of the program will be based at the MYOB Innovation Hub in Richmond, Victoria. The proposed kick-off date is early July 2016.

MYOB has also been very vocal about the fact that the three roles will also come with very flexible working arrangements to fit around family commitments and other obligations the best candidates have; in fact “they will be encouraged”, said Chowdhury.

Given the low-key nature that MYOB have taken with this initiative (specifically regarding promotion of it), the fact that over 170 women have already applied registering their interest in such an opportunity speaks volumes about the hunger that exists in women wanting to get into these types of roles. It is also is a key indicator that Australia lacks affordable and/or available STEM-related up-skill education for women looking to re-enter the workforce or change career paths.

Featured Illustration: Owned.