In the last episode I sat down with Norie Ape to discuss ideas on how to increase diversity in the technology industry. In this episode I catch-up with Hylton Stunnenberg-Southon to continue the conversation.
An experienced digital leader Hylton takes the view that anyone can code, as long as we ensure they have the opportunity to do it.
She challenges society to level the playing fields, especially at school and asks the question "Do we need have specific teachers for technology, or do we need to better equip the ones we have?
Because different cultures place value on different things, we discuss:
- The need to get more mentors around the industry.
- How to make sure we take into account cultural commitments and values such as Faith and Family.
- Why we should be hiring for soft skills, not just academic skills
We also raise the challenge to be talking about the different jobs available in the tech space, not just development opportunities.
Born in the USA to a Samoan mother and Dutch father, Hylton has lived in Samoa, Fiji, Australia, NZ and spent her summers in The Netherlands in the first 9 years of her life, you could say that travel is normal to her! It is no surprise therefore that with Hylton’s diverse background she would be passionate about issues such as gaps that exist in the technology industry now; especially culturally. Hylton has played the role of a mentor both within her workplace and over the years through groups focusing on mentoring school kids of Maori or Pacific decent who are interested in exploring careers within the Technology/Digital industry.